Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 142, Issue 3, pp 349–353

Random visual noise impairs object-based attention

  • Richard A. Abrams
  • Mark B. Law
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00221-001-0899-2

Cite this article as:
Abrams, R.A. & Law, M.B. Exp Brain Res (2002) 142: 349. doi:10.1007/s00221-001-0899-2


Object-based visual attention is observed when the benefit of attending to one element in a display extends to other elements that are part of the same perceptual object. Apperceptive agnosia is an object identification deficit in which spatial attention is preserved but object-based attention is impaired. Some debate exists regarding the extent to which the object-based impairment can be attributed to perceptual mechanisms that are specifically involved in grouping and segmentation of a scene, as opposed to early sensory processes. In the present paper we show that random visual noise is sufficient to eliminate the object benefit, a result inconsistent with the view that grouping mechanisms are responsible for the effect. The results have implications for an understanding of apperceptive agnosia, and for an understanding of object-based attention more generally.

Agnosia Visual attention Object recognition Vision Perception

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Abrams
    • 1
  • Mark B. Law
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA