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Vision Res. 2009 Mar;49(7):735-45.

Attention trades off spatial acuity.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.

Abstract

Covertly attending to a stimulus location increases spatial acuity. Is such increased spatial acuity coupled with a decreased acuity at unattended locations? We measured the effects of exogenous (transient and involuntary) and endogenous (sustained and voluntary) attention on observers' acuity thresholds for a Landolt gap resolution task at both attended and unattended locations. Both types of attention increased acuity at the attended and decreased it at unattended locations relative to a neutral baseline condition. These trade-off findings support the idea that limited processing resources affect early vision, even when the display is impoverished and there is no location uncertainty. There was no benefit without a cost.

PMID:
19385088
PMCID:
PMC3375052
DOI:
10.1016/j.visres.2009.02.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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