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Limited influence of perceptual organization on the precision of attentional control.

Research paper by Cathleen M CM Moore, Elisabeth E Hein, Marc M Grosjean, Gerhard G Rinkenauer

Indexed on: 12 May '09Published on: 12 May '09Published in: Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics



Abstract

The role of perceptual organization in the precision of attentional control was assessed in three experiments. Observers viewed circular arrays of disks that varied in density. One disk was cued, directing attention to that disk. A series of tones then indicated shifts of attention to the next disk that was of the same color (Experiments 1 and 2) or on the same depth plane (Experiment 3). In the homogeneous condition, all of the disks were the same color (Experiments 1 and 2) or on the same depth plane (Experiment 3). In the heterogeneous condition, the disks alternated in color (Experiments 1 and 2) or stereoscopically defined depth (Experiment 3). If the observers were able to limit attention to disks within a group, the effective density of the displays in the heterogeneous conditions should have been one half that in the homogeneous conditions. There was little evidence that the observers could do this, indicating a limited role of perceptual organization in the precision of attentional control.