, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 349-357,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 14 Nov 2012

The perceived onset position of a moving target: Effects of trial contexts are evoked by different attentional allocations


Previous studies have shown that the localization of the perceived onset position of a moving target varies with the trial context. When the moving target appeared at predictable positions to the left or right of fixation (constant context), localization judgments of the perceived onset positions were essentially displaced in motion direction (Fröhlich effect). In contrast, when the target appeared at unpredictable positions in the visual field (random context), localization judgments were at least drastically reduced. Four explanations of this influence of trial context on localization judgments were examined in three experiments. Findings ruled out an overcompensation mechanism effective in random-context conditions, a predictive mechanism effective in constant-context conditions and a detrimental mechanism originating from more trial repetitions in constant-context conditions. Instead, the results indicated that different attentional allocations are responsible for the localization differences. They also demonstrated that attentional mechanisms are at the basis of the Fröhlich effect.