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J Vis. 2010 Aug 13;10(10):10. doi: 10.1167/10.10.10.

Measuring attention using flash-lag effect.

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Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


We investigated the effect of attention on the flash-lag effect (FLE) in order to determine whether the FLE can be used to estimate the effect of visual attention. The FLE is the effect that a flash aligned with a moving object is perceived to lag the moving object, and several studies have shown that attention reduces its magnitude. We measured the FLE as a function of the number or speed of moving objects. The results showed that the effect of cueing, which we attributed the effect of attention, on the FLE increased monotonically with the number or the speed of the objects. This suggests that the amount of attention can be estimated by measuring the FLE, assuming that more amount of attention is required for a larger number or faster speed of objects to attend. On the basis of this presumption, we attempted to measure the spatial spread of visual attention by FLE measurements. The estimated spatial spreads were similar to those estimated by other experimental methods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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