Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 78, Issue 8, pp 2397–2410

Task-relevant information is prioritized in spatiotemporal contextual cueing

  • Yoko Higuchi
  • Yoshiyuki Ueda
  • Hirokazu Ogawa
  • Jun Saiki

DOI: 10.3758/s13414-016-1198-0

Cite this article as:
Higuchi, Y., Ueda, Y., Ogawa, H. et al. Atten Percept Psychophys (2016) 78: 2397. doi:10.3758/s13414-016-1198-0


Implicit learning of visual contexts facilitates search performance—a phenomenon known as contextual cueing; however, little is known about contextual cueing under situations in which multidimensional regularities exist simultaneously. In everyday vision, different information, such as object identity and location, appears simultaneously and interacts with each other. We tested the hypothesis that, in contextual cueing, when multiple regularities are present, the regularities that are most relevant to our behavioral goals would be prioritized. Previous studies of contextual cueing have commonly used the visual search paradigm. However, this paradigm is not suitable for directing participants’ attention to a particular regularity. Therefore, we developed a new paradigm, the “spatiotemporal contextual cueing paradigm,” and manipulated task-relevant and task-irrelevant regularities. In four experiments, we demonstrated that task-relevant regularities were more responsible for search facilitation than task-irrelevant regularities. This finding suggests our visual behavior is focused on regularities that are relevant to our current goal.


Contextual cueingImplicit learningAttentionTask-dependency

Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoko Higuchi
    • 1
  • Yoshiyuki Ueda
    • 2
  • Hirokazu Ogawa
    • 3
  • Jun Saiki
    • 4
  1. 1.School of InformaticsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Kokoro Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Psychological ScienceKwansei Gakuin UniversityNishinomiyaJapan
  4. 4.School of Human and Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan