, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 271-286

Object-based selection operating on a spatial representation made salient by dimensional segmentation mechanisms: a re-investigation of Egly and Homa (1984)

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Abstract

Three experiments re-investigated selective attention in the ‘ring-cueing’ paradigm of Egly and Homa (J Exp Psychol: Human Percept Perform 10:778–793, 1984). Observers were cued to attend to one of three concentric rings of radius 1°, 2°, or 3°, and their signal detection accuracy for cued and uncued rings was measured. Experiment 1, which used a central color cue to indicate a like-colored ring, replicated ring-cueing effects along the lines of Egly and Homa. Experiments 2 and 3 examined whether these effects were produced by observers exploiting secondary-depth cues possibly inherent in the display layout. With color cues, the availability of secondary-depth information had no influence on the ring-cueing effects. However, making the rings monochrome and using central size cues significantly reduced the ring-cueing effects when the depth information was disrupted. The results suggest that selection was object-based, operating on a spatial ‘grouped-array’ representation of the cued ring made salient by color- or depth-based segmentation mechanisms.