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Percept Psychophys. 2005 Nov;67(8):1344-53.

Involuntary attention and identification accuracy.

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Psychology Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1650, USA.


Using the spatial cuing paradigm, Prinzmetal, McCool, and Park (2005) made the distinction between voluntary and involuntary attention. They claimed that although accuracy was affected by an informative spatial cue (which controls voluntary attention), it was not affected by a noninformative cue (which controls involuntary attention). We reevaluate two reports that assert that noninformative spatial cues affect accuracy. Dufour (1999) reported that a noninformative auditory cue enhanced visual identification in a conjunction search task. Klein and Dick (2002) reported that, in an RSVP task with visual cues, the cue also enhanced accuracy at short stimulus onset asynchronies. We found that Dufour's results were due to overt orienting (eye movements) rather than to covert attention. The results of Klein and Dick were due either to location uncertainty or to a confounding of the order of stimulus presentation and condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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