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On the link between attentional search and the oculomotor system : is pre-attentive search restricted to the range of eye movements?

Casteau, S. and Smith, D. T. (2020) 'On the link between attentional search and the oculomotor system : is pre-attentive search restricted to the range of eye movements?', Attention, perception and psychophysics., 82 (2). pp. 518-532.

Abstract

It has been proposed that covert visual search can be fast, efficient, and stimulus driven, particularly when the target is defined by a salient single feature, or slow, inefficient, and effortful when the target is defined by a nonsalient conjunction of features. This distinction between fast, stimulus-driven orienting and slow, effortful orienting can be related to the distinction between exogenous spatial attention and endogenous spatial attention. Several studies have shown that exogenous, covert orienting is limited to the range of saccadic eye movements, whereas covert endogenous orienting is independent of the range of saccadic eye movements. The current study examined whether covert visual search is affected in a similar way. Experiment 1 showed that covert visual search for feature singletons was impaired when stimuli were presented beyond the range of saccadic eye movements, whereas conjunction search was unaffected by array position. Experiment 2 replicated and extended this effect by measuring search times at 6 eccentricities. The impairment in covert feature search emerged only when stimuli crossed the effective oculomotor range and remained stable for locations further into the periphery, ruling out the possibility that the results of Experiment 1 were due to a failure to fully compensate for the effects of cortical magnification. The findings are interpreted in terms of biased competition and oculomotor theories of spatial attention. It is concluded that, as with covert exogenous orienting, biological constraints on overt orienting in the oculomotor system constrain covert, preattentive search.

Item Type:Article
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-019-01949-4
Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date accepted:21 November 2019
Date deposited:16 January 2020
Date of first online publication:15 January 2020
Date first made open access:16 January 2020

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