Special Issue "Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention"

A special issue of Vision (ISSN 2411-5150).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Alessandro Soranzo

Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
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Interests: visual perception; visual attention; psychophysics methods; art and perception; aesthetics
Guest Editor
Dr. Christopher J. Wilson

School of Social Sciences and Law, Teesside University, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: visual perception and visual attention; perceptions of risk; decision making; virtual reality
Guest Editor
Dr. Marco Bertamini

Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZA, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: visual cognition; perception of shape; object representation; intuitive physics; art and perception

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interest in Reflexive Attentional Shift has intensified in recent years because the cueing of visual attention is commonly used as a developmental measure of perspective-taking ability and the ability to infer someone else's mental state. Reflexive Attentional Shift occurs when attention is oriented by the onset of a stimulus at a specific location (Posner, 1980). Attention can also be biased towards where another person (the Other) is looking and this can cause errors or slower responding when reporting what we see, if this is different from what the Other sees.

This Special Issue is inspired by the fact that the results of recent research are consistently similar, but continued to be interpreted either considering the perceptual characteristics of the Other (non-mentalizing position) or the social characteristic of the Other (mentalizing or Altercentric intrusion position). 

The current Special Issue is open to submissions of previously unpublished experimental, prospective, extended articles and review papers on the following and related topics:

  • Theory of mind
  • Spontaneous Perspective taken
  • Altercentric intrusion
  • Directional attentional cues
  • Dot perspective task

Dr. Alessandro Soranzo
Dr. Wilson Christopher
Dr. Marco Bertamini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vision is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Changes in Tonic Alertness but Not Voluntary Temporal Preparation Modulate the Attention Elicited by Task-Relevant Gaze and Arrow Cues
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 7 April 2018
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Abstract
Attention is engaged differently depending on the type and utility of an attentional cue. Some cues like visual transients or social gaze engage attention effortlessly. Others like symbols or geometric shapes require task-relevant deliberate processing. In the laboratory, these effects are often measured [...] Read more.
Attention is engaged differently depending on the type and utility of an attentional cue. Some cues like visual transients or social gaze engage attention effortlessly. Others like symbols or geometric shapes require task-relevant deliberate processing. In the laboratory, these effects are often measured using a cuing procedure, which typically manipulates cue type and its utility for the task. Recent research however has uncovered that in addition to spatial orienting, this popular paradigm also engages two additional processes—tonic alertness and voluntary temporal preparation—both of which have been found to modulate spatial orienting elicited by task-irrelevant cues but not task-relevant symbols. Here we assessed whether changes in tonic alertness and voluntary temporal preparation also modulated attentional orienting elicited by task-relevant social gaze and nonsocial arrow cues. Our results indicated that while the effects of spatial attention were reliable in all conditions and did not vary with cue type, the magnitude of orienting was larger under high tonic alertness. Thus, while the cue’s task utility appears to have the power to robustly drive attentional orienting, changes in tonic alertness may modulate the magnitude of such deliberate shifts of attention elicited by task-relevant central social and nonsocial cues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Ocularity Feature Contrast Attracts Attention Exogenously
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
An eye-of-origin singleton, e.g., a bar shown to the left eye among many other bars shown to the right eye, can capture attention and gaze exogenously or reflexively, even when it appears identical to other visual input items in the scene and when [...] Read more.
An eye-of-origin singleton, e.g., a bar shown to the left eye among many other bars shown to the right eye, can capture attention and gaze exogenously or reflexively, even when it appears identical to other visual input items in the scene and when the eye-of-origin feature is irrelevant to the observer’s task. Defining saliency as the strength of exogenous attraction to attention, we say that this eye-of-origin singleton, or its visual location, is salient. Defining the ocularity of a visual input item as the relative difference between its left-eye input and its right-eye input, this paper shows the general case that an ocularity singleton is also salient. For example, a binocular input item among monocular input items is salient, so is a left-eye-dominant input item (e.g., a bar with a higher input contrast to the left eye than to the right eye) among right-eye-dominant items. Saliency by unique input ocularity is analogous to saliency by unique input colour (e.g., a red item among green ones), as colour is determined by the relative difference(s) between visual inputs to different photoreceptor cones. Just as a smaller colour difference between a colour singleton and background items makes this singleton less salient, so does a smaller ocularity difference between an ocularity singleton and background items. While a salient colour difference is highly visible, a salient ocularity difference is often perceptually invisible in some cases and discouraging gaze shifts towards it in other cases, making its behavioural manifestation not as apparent. Saliency by ocularity contrast provides another support to the idea that the primary visual cortex creates a bottom-up saliency map to guide attention exogenously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Mental State Attributions Mediate the Gaze Cueing Effect
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 19 February 2018
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Abstract
Understanding the mental states of our social partners allows us to successfully interact with the world around us. Mental state attributions are argued to underpin social attention, and have been shown to modulate attentional orienting to social cues. However, recent research has disputed [...] Read more.
Understanding the mental states of our social partners allows us to successfully interact with the world around us. Mental state attributions are argued to underpin social attention, and have been shown to modulate attentional orienting to social cues. However, recent research has disputed this claim, arguing that this effect may arise as an unintentional side effect of study design, rather than through the involvement of mentalising processes. This study therefore aimed to establish whether the mediation of gaze cueing by mental state attributions generalises beyond the specific experimental paradigm used in previous research. The current study used a gaze cueing paradigm within a change detection task, and the gaze cue was manipulated such that participants were aware that the cue-agent was only able to ‘see’ in one condition. The results revealed that participants were influenced by the mental state of the cue-agent, and were significantly better at identifying if a change had occurred on valid trials when they believed the cue-agent could ‘see’. The computation of the cue-agent’s mental state therefore mediated the gaze cueing effect, demonstrating that the modulation of gaze cueing by mental state attributions generalises to other experimental paradigms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Dimensionally Specific Capture of Attention: Implications for Saliency Computation
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
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Abstract
Observers automatically orient to a sudden change in the environment. This is demonstrated experimentally using exogenous cues, which prioritize the analysis of subsequent targets appearing nearby. This effect has been attributed to the computation of saliency, obtained by combining features specific signals, which [...] Read more.
Observers automatically orient to a sudden change in the environment. This is demonstrated experimentally using exogenous cues, which prioritize the analysis of subsequent targets appearing nearby. This effect has been attributed to the computation of saliency, obtained by combining features specific signals, which then feed back to drive attention to the salient location. An alternative possibility is that cueing directly effects target-evoked sensory responses in a feed-forward manner. We examined the effects of luminance and equiluminant color cues in a dual task paradigm, which required both a motion and a color discrimination. Equiluminant color cues improved color discrimination more than luminance cues, but luminance cues improved motion discrimination more than equiluminant color cues. This suggests that the effects of exogenous cues are dimensionally specific and may not depend entirely on the computation of a dimension general saliency signal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Covert Exogenous Cross-Modality Orienting between Audition and Vision
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Control of visual attention by auditory stimuli is explored in seven previously unpublished experiments that were presented at conferences in the late 1980s. Reaction time (RT) to luminance targets was found to be affected by the spatial congruence between the target and a [...] Read more.
Control of visual attention by auditory stimuli is explored in seven previously unpublished experiments that were presented at conferences in the late 1980s. Reaction time (RT) to luminance targets was found to be affected by the spatial congruence between the target and a preceding or simultaneous, and non-informative, auditory event, suggesting that localizable auditory stimuli exogenously (rapidly and automatically) capture visual attention. These cuing effects were obtained in the absence of eye movements and do not appear to be mediated merely by criterion adjustments. When the information value of the auditory event was placed in conflict with its location (i.e., a tone on the right indicated that the visual target was likely to appear on the left), it was found that at short stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) reaction time (RT) was faster for targets at the stimulated location, an effect that disappeared within 500 ms and was reversed by 1000 ms. This demonstrates that it requires over 500 ms for endogenous orienting in response to probabilistic information about target location to overcome the powerful exogenous control of visual attention by localizable auditory stimulation. Simple RT to auditory stimuli was unaffected by the spatial congruence of a preceding or simultaneous visual stimulus. When uninformative, neither pitch contours (rising/falling tones) nor pitch (high/low tones) produced significant visual orienting along the vertical midline. When the direction of a pitch contour indicated the likely location of a visual target, participants were able to shift their attention if the relation between the natural meaning and the probabilistic information was compatible (e.g., rising contour signaled that a upper target was likely) but not when it was incompatible. The relation of these 30-year-old experiments to contemporary findings and ideas is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle I Don’t See It Your Way: The Dot Perspective Task Does Not Gauge Spontaneous Perspective Taking
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Data from studies employing the dot-perspective task have been used to support the theory that humans are capable of automatically computing the visual perspective of other individuals. Recent work has challenged this interpretation, claiming instead that the results may arise through the automatic [...] Read more.
Data from studies employing the dot-perspective task have been used to support the theory that humans are capable of automatically computing the visual perspective of other individuals. Recent work has challenged this interpretation, claiming instead that the results may arise through the automatic reorienting of attention triggered by observed head and gaze cues. The two experiments reported here offer a stronger test of the perspective taking account by replacing the computer-generated avatars used in previous research with, respectively, photo-realistic stimuli and socially co-present individuals in a “live”, face-to-face version of the task. In each study observers were faster to judge the number of dots in a display when either a digitized image depicting a human “gazer” (Experiment 1), or a socially co-present gazer (Experiment 2) could see the same number of dots as the observer, than when the number of dots visible to each was different. However, in both experiments this effect was also obtained in conditions where barriers clearly occluded the gazers’ view of the target dots so that the perspectives of participants and gazers were always different. These results offer no support for the idea that participants are engaged in spontaneous perspective taking in the dot perspective task. It is argued that, instead, the results are likely caused by a spontaneous redirection of a viewer’s attention by the observed gazes, which is unlikely to involve representations of the gazer’s mental state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Implicit Mentalising during Level-1 Visual Perspective-Taking Indicated by Dissociation with Attention Orienting
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
Experiments demonstrating level-1 visual perspective-taking have been interpreted as providing important evidence for ‘implicit mentalising’—the ability to track simple mental states in a fast and efficient manner. However, this interpretation has been contested by a rival ‘submentalising’ account that proposes that these experiments [...] Read more.
Experiments demonstrating level-1 visual perspective-taking have been interpreted as providing important evidence for ‘implicit mentalising’—the ability to track simple mental states in a fast and efficient manner. However, this interpretation has been contested by a rival ‘submentalising’ account that proposes that these experiments can be explained by the general purpose mechanisms responsible for attentional orienting. Here, we aim to discriminate between these competing accounts by examining whether a gaze aversion manipulation expected to enhance attention orienting would have similar effects on both perspective-taking and attention orienting tasks. Gaze aversion was operationalised by manipulating head position relative to torso of the avatar figures employed in two experiments (gaze-averted vs. gaze-maintained). Experiment 1 used a Posner cueing task to establish that gaze aversion enhanced attention orienting cued by these avatars. Using the avatar task, Experiment 2 revealed level-1 visual perspective-taking effects of equivalent magnitude for gaze-averted and gaze-maintained conditions. These results indicate that gaze aversion moderated attention orienting but not perspective-taking. This dissociation in performance favours implicit mentalising by casting doubt on the submentalising account. It further constrains theorising by implying that attention orienting is not integral to the system permitting the relatively automatic tracking of mental states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Stimulus Size and Eccentricity on Attention Shift Latencies
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
The ability to shift attention between relevant stimuli is crucial in everyday life and allows us to focus on relevant events. It develops during early childhood and is often impaired in clinical populations, as can be investigated in the fixation shift paradigm and [...] Read more.
The ability to shift attention between relevant stimuli is crucial in everyday life and allows us to focus on relevant events. It develops during early childhood and is often impaired in clinical populations, as can be investigated in the fixation shift paradigm and the gap–overlap paradigm. Different tests use stimuli of different sizes presented at different eccentricities, making it difficult to compare them. This study systematically investigates the effect of eccentricity and target size on refixation latencies towards target stimuli. Eccentricity and target size affected attention shift latencies with greatest latencies to big targets that were presented at a small eccentricity. Slowed responses to large parafoveal targets are in line with the idea that specific areas in the superior colliculus can lead to inhibition of eye movements. Findings suggest that the two different paradigms are generally comparable, as long as the target is scaled in proportion to the eccentricity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Gaze and Arrows: The Effect of Element Orientation on Apparent Motion is Modulated by Attention
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
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Abstract
In two experiments we investigated whether stimuli that elicit automatic orienting of attention (i.e., arrow or averted gaze) could drive apparent motion perception in one of two possible directions, modulating the effect of a low-level property (the orientation of elements along the motion [...] Read more.
In two experiments we investigated whether stimuli that elicit automatic orienting of attention (i.e., arrow or averted gaze) could drive apparent motion perception in one of two possible directions, modulating the effect of a low-level property (the orientation of elements along the motion direction). To this end, the competing motion paradigm was used, in which at time 1, a stimulus appears in the center of the display, and at time 2, two other stimuli appear in different spatial locations. Three kinds of stimuli with eight possible orientations were used in separate blocks; (1) a line; (2) an arrow; and, (3) an averted gaze. First, since the three stimuli present in the display at time 2 should be perceived to be located at the same distance (i.e., equidistant), the threshold for perceived equidistance was calculated for each participant and then used as the customized inter-stimulus distance. Participants were asked to press the button corresponding to the direction of the perceived motion. Results show a preference for collinear motion (motions between elements oriented along the motion direction), with a higher percentage of responses for gaze and arrow stimuli. In Experiment 1, a difference between gaze- and arrow-stimuli was observed. Apparent motion was seen towards the collinear position more often for gaze than for arrow when the stimulus was pointing to the vertical directions, while the opposite was true when the stimulus was pointing to the horizontal directions. In Experiment 2, where the lightness contrast between the gaze and the background was reduced, no difference between gaze- and arrow-stimuli emerged. We interpret our results as due to the social and biological value of gaze, which solved a possible ambiguity between gaze direction and the directions conveyed by the figural properties of the contrasted background in Experiment 1. These findings are consistent with the idea that stimuli known to automatically orient visual attention modulate motion perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Where Is Your Attention? Assessing Individual Instances of Covert Attentional Orienting in Response to Gaze and Arrow Cues
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
Humans spontaneously follow where others are looking. However, recent investigations suggest such gaze-following behavior during natural interactions occurs relatively infrequently, only in about a third of available instances. Here we investigated if a similar frequency of orienting is also found in laboratory tasks [...] Read more.
Humans spontaneously follow where others are looking. However, recent investigations suggest such gaze-following behavior during natural interactions occurs relatively infrequently, only in about a third of available instances. Here we investigated if a similar frequency of orienting is also found in laboratory tasks that measure covert attentional orienting using manual responses. To do so, in two experiments, we analyzed responses from a classic gaze cuing task, with arrow cues serving as control stimuli. We reasoned that the proportions of attentional benefits and costs, defined as responses falling outside of 1 standard deviation of the average performance for the neutral condition, would provide a good approximation of individual instances of attentional shifts. We found that although benefits and costs occurred in less than half of trials, benefits emerged on a greater proportion of validly cued relative to invalidly cued trials. This pattern of data held across two different measures of neutral performance, as assessed by Experiments 1 and 2, as well as across the two cue types. These results suggest that similarly to gaze-following in naturalistic settings, covert orienting within the cuing task also appears to occur relatively infrequently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Spontaneous Perspective Taking in Humans?
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
A number of social cognition studies posit that humans spontaneously compute the viewpoint of other individuals. This is based on experiments showing that responses are shorter when a human agent, located in a visual display, can see the stimuli relevant to the observer’s [...] Read more.
A number of social cognition studies posit that humans spontaneously compute the viewpoint of other individuals. This is based on experiments showing that responses are shorter when a human agent, located in a visual display, can see the stimuli relevant to the observer’s task. Similarly, responses are slower when the agent cannot see the task-relevant stimuli. We tested the spontaneous perspective taking theory by incorporating it within two classic visual cognition paradigms (i.e., the flanker effect and the Simon effect), as well as reassessing its role in the gaze cueing effect. Results showed that these phenomena (e.g., the Simon effect) are not modulated according to whether a gazing agent can see the critical stimuli or not. We also examined the claim that previous results attributed to spontaneous perspective taking are due to the gazing agent’s ability to shift attention laterally. Results found no evidence of this. Overall, these data challenge both the spontaneous perspective taking theory, as well as the attentional shift hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Perceiving Musical Note Values Causes Spatial Shift of Attention in Musicians
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
The Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) suggests the existence of an association between number magnitude and response position, with faster left-key responses to small numbers and faster right-key responses to large numbers. The attentional SNARC effect (Att-SNARC) suggests that perceiving numbers can [...] Read more.
The Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) suggests the existence of an association between number magnitude and response position, with faster left-key responses to small numbers and faster right-key responses to large numbers. The attentional SNARC effect (Att-SNARC) suggests that perceiving numbers can also affect the allocation of spatial attention, causing a leftward (vs. rightward) target detection advantage after perceiving small (vs. large) numbers. Considering previous findings that revealed similar spatial association effects for both numbers and musical note values (i.e., the relative duration of notes), the aim of this study is to investigate whether presenting note values instead of numbers causes a spatial shift of attention in musicians. The results show an advantage in detecting a leftward (vs. rightward) target after perceiving small (vs. large) musical note values. The fact that musical note values cause a spatial shift of attention strongly suggests that musicians process numbers and note values in a similar manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle Target Type Modulates the Effect of Task Demand on Reflexive Focal Attention
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
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Abstract
Focusing attention on a limited space within the environment allows us to concentrate our resources selectively on that location while ignoring the rest of the space. In this study we investigated how the deployment of the focal attention in foveal vision can be [...] Read more.
Focusing attention on a limited space within the environment allows us to concentrate our resources selectively on that location while ignoring the rest of the space. In this study we investigated how the deployment of the focal attention in foveal vision can be affected by task and stimuli specificity. In particular, we measured the cue-size effect in four experiments: shape detection (Experiment 1), shape discrimination (Experiment 2), letter detection (Experiment 3), and letter discrimination (Experiment 4). Our results highlight that, although the focal component can be elicited by different tasks (i.e., detection or discrimination) and by using different types of stimuli (i.e., shapes or letters), those effects interact with each other. Specifically, the effect of focal attention is more noticeable when letter stimuli are used in the case of a detection task, while no difference between letters and geometrical shapes is observed in the discrimination task. Furthermore, the analysis of the cue-size effect across the four experiments confirmed that the deployment of focal attention in foveal vision is mainly reflexive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle If not When, then Where? Ignoring Temporal Information Eliminates Reflexive but not Volitional Spatial Orienting
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
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Abstract
A tremendous amount of research has been devoted to understanding how attention can be committed to space or time. Until recently, relatively little research has examined how attention to these two domains combine. The present study addressed this issue. We examined how implicitly [...] Read more.
A tremendous amount of research has been devoted to understanding how attention can be committed to space or time. Until recently, relatively little research has examined how attention to these two domains combine. The present study addressed this issue. We examined how implicitly manipulating whether participants used a cue to orient attention in time impacts reflexive or volitional shifts in spatial attention. Specifically, participants made speeded manual responses to the detection of a peripherally presented target that appeared either 100, 500, or 1000 ms after the onset of a central cue. Cues were either spatially non-predictive arrows (p = 0.50) or spatially-predictive (p = 0.80) letter cues. Whereas arrow cues can reflexively orient spatial attention even when non-predictive of a target’s spatial location, letters only orient spatial attention when they reliably predict a target location, i.e., the shift is volitional. Further, in one task, a target was presented on every trial, thereby encouraging participants to use the temporal information conveyed by the cue to prepare for the appearance of the target. In another task, 25% of trials contained no target, implicitly discouraging participants from using the cue to direct attention in time. Results indicate that when temporal information is reliable and therefore volitionally processed, then spatial cuing effects emerge regardless of whether attention is oriented reflexively or volitionally. However, when temporal information is unreliable, spatial cuing effects only emerge when spatial cue information is reliable, i.e., when spatial attention is volitionally shifted. Reflexive cues do not elicit spatial orienting when their temporal utility is reduced. These results converge on the notion that reflexive shifts of spatial attention are sensitive to implicit changes in a non-spatial domain, whereas explicit volitional shifts in spatial attention are not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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Open AccessArticle New Insights into the Inter-Individual Variability in Perspective Taking
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 4 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 3 January 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to test whether individual differences in perspective taking could be explained with two underpinning cognitive dimensions: The ability to handle the conflict between our egocentric perspective and another person’s perspective and the relative attentional focus during processing on the egocentric [...] Read more.
This study aimed to test whether individual differences in perspective taking could be explained with two underpinning cognitive dimensions: The ability to handle the conflict between our egocentric perspective and another person’s perspective and the relative attentional focus during processing on the egocentric perspective versus another person’s perspective. We conducted cluster analyses on 346 participants who completed a visual perspective-taking task assessing performance on these two cognitive dimensions. Individual differences were best reduced by forming four clusters, or profiles, of perspective-takers. This partition reflected a high heterogeneity along both dimensions. In addition, deconstructing the perspective-taking performance into two distinct cognitive dimensions better predicted participants’ self-reported everyday life perspective-taking tendencies. Altogether, considering attentional focus and conflict handling as two potential sources of variability allows forming a two-dimensional space that enriches our understanding of the individual differences in perspective taking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflexive Shifts in Visual Attention)
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