, Volume 61, Issue 8, pp 1604-1612

Objects of attention, objects of perception

Abstract

Four experiments were conducted, to explore the notion of objects in perception. Taking as a starting point the effects of display content on rapid attention transfer and manipulating curvature, closure, and processing time, a link between objects of attention and objects of perception is proposed. In Experiment 1, a number of parallel, equally spaced, straight lines facilitated attention transfer along the lines, relative to transfer across the lines. In Experiment 2, with curved, closed-contour shapes, no “same-object” facilitation was observed. However, when a longer time interval was provided, in Experiment 3, a same-object advantage started to emerge. In Experiment 4, using the same curved shapes but in a non-speeded distance estimation task, a strong effect of objects was observed. It is argued that attention transfer is facilitated by line tracing but that line tracing is encouraged by objects.

This paper was written while the author was a visiting scholar at the Department of Psychology, University of Chicago.
Accepted by previous editor, Myron L. Braunstein