Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 26;6:31832. doi: 10.1038/srep31832.

Eye fixation during multiple object attention is based on a representation of discrete spatial foci.

Author information

School of Psychology & Neuroscience University of St. Andrews, South Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JP, United Kingdom.
School of Experimental Psychology University of Bristol 12a, Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TU, United Kingdom.
Department of Psychology University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Walnut Street, Suite 400A, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


We often look at and attend to several objects at once. How the brain determines where to point our eyes when we do this is poorly understood. Here we devised a novel paradigm to discriminate between different models of spatial selection guiding fixation. In contrast to standard static attentional tasks where the eye remains fixed at a predefined location, observers selected their own preferred fixation position while they tracked static targets that were arranged in specific geometric configurations and which changed identity over time. Fixations were best predicted by a representation of discrete spatial foci, not a polygonal grouping, simple 2-foci division of attention or a circular spotlight. Moreover, attentional performance was incompatible with serial selection. Together with previous studies, our findings are compatible with a view that attentional selection and fixation rely on shared spatial representations and suggest a more nuanced definition of overt vs. covert attention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center