Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1205–1211

Attentional selection of complex objects: Joint effects of surface uniformity and part structure

Brief Reports

DOI: 10.3758/BF03193114

Cite this article as:
Hecht, L.N. & Vecera, S.P. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review (2007) 14: 1205. doi:10.3758/BF03193114


What object properties warrant selection by object-based attention? Previous research has suggested that surface uniformity is required for object-based attentional selection (Watson & Kramer, 1999), yet nonuniform objects are encountered frequently. In the present experiments, we investigated the interplay between surface uniformity and part boundaries and their effect on object-based attention. Specifically, we asked if attention can select nonuniform objects whose surface changes occur at part boundaries. Although uniformly colored objects did exhibit object-based effects, we only observed an object-based effect for multicolored objects when surface changes occurred at part boundaries. These findings suggest that attention can only select nonuniform objects when the surface change occurs at a part boundary.

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© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IowaIowa City