Focusing attention on overlapping and non-overlapping figures with subjective contours
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In a series of five experiments we investigated whether observers could focus attention on a restricted visual area that was demarcated by Kanizsa-like subjective contours, and whether this effect also occurred in the case of overlapping figures. The task was a simple reaction time to a luminance increment and the basic finding was that reaction time was faster when the imperative stimulus fell inside the focus of attention than when it fell outside. The first two experiments showed that the extent of the attentional focus could be adapted to a region that was demarcated by subjective contours, thus extending the results of previous studies that used regions demarcated by real contours. The last three experiments showed that, regardless of the type of margins, focusing was more efficient for the figure that was perceived as lying in front in a pair of overlapping figures.
KeywordsReaction Time Attentional Focus Visual Area Simple Reaction Simple Reaction Time
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