Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1148–1153 | Cite as

Testing whether gaze cues and arrow cues produce reflexive or volitional shifts of attention

  • Sara A. StevensEmail author
  • Greg L. West
  • Naseem Al-Aidroos
  • Ulrich W. Weger
  • Jay Pratt
Brief Reports


It has been suggested that two types of uninformative central cues produce reflexive orienting: gaze and arrow cues. Using the criterion that voluntary shifts of attention facilitate both response speed and perceptual accuracy, whereas reflexive shifts of attention facilitate only response speed (Prinzmetal, McCool, & Park, 2005), we tested whether these cues produce reflexive or volitional shifts of attention. A cued letter discrimination task was used with both gaze (Experiments 1A and 1B) and arrow (Experiments 2A and 2B) cues, in which participants responded to the identity of the target letter. In the response time (respond speed) tasks, participants were asked to respond as quickly as possible to the target; in the accuracy (perceptual quality) tasks, participants were asked to respond as accurately as possible. For both cue types, compatible cues were found to facilitate response speed but not perceptual accuracy, indicating that both gaze and arrow cues generate reflexive shifts in attention.


Target Letter Uncued Location Reflexive Orienting Stimulus Onset Asyn Perceptual Accuracy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara A. Stevens
    • 1
    Email author
  • Greg L. West
    • 1
  • Naseem Al-Aidroos
    • 1
  • Ulrich W. Weger
    • 1
  • Jay Pratt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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