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Does attention move or spread during mental curve tracing?

Crundall, David; Dewhurst, Richard LU and Underwood, Geoffrey (2008) In Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 70(2). p.374-388
Abstract
There are two theories that attempt to explain how attention is deployed when lines are traced. Initially, it was believed that a covert zoom lens moved along the line. Recent evidence has, however, suggested that attention spreads along the line, rather than moving along it, perhaps as part of an effortful object-parsing process. Three experiments tested the spreading and moving accounts of line tracing. Participants were presented with two inter-twined lines and were required to trace one to find the correct target. On half the trials, a masked change occurred, most often near the top of the target line, that reversed the required response. If attention spreads along the line, the participants should have been able to notice the change... (More)
There are two theories that attempt to explain how attention is deployed when lines are traced. Initially, it was believed that a covert zoom lens moved along the line. Recent evidence has, however, suggested that attention spreads along the line, rather than moving along it, perhaps as part of an effortful object-parsing process. Three experiments tested the spreading and moving accounts of line tracing. Participants were presented with two inter-twined lines and were required to trace one to find the correct target. On half the trials, a masked change occurred, most often near the top of the target line, that reversed the required response. If attention spreads along the line, the participants should have been able to notice the change whenever it occurred during the tracing process. However, the participants found it harder to spot the change if it occurred late in the tracing process. This suggests that resources were less frequently available to detect changes on portions of the line that had already been traced when the change occurred. The results argue against a spreading trace of attention that encompasses the whole line. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Visual attention, line tracing
in
Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
volume
70
issue
2
pages
374 - 388
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:42949177640
ISSN
1943-393X
DOI
10.3758/PP.70.2.374
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
5577e017-6a38-439a-b6c1-613536fa3283 (old id 1614465)
date added to LUP
2010-06-18 13:12:34
date last changed
2017-08-13 04:12:18
@article{5577e017-6a38-439a-b6c1-613536fa3283,
  abstract     = {There are two theories that attempt to explain how attention is deployed when lines are traced. Initially, it was believed that a covert zoom lens moved along the line. Recent evidence has, however, suggested that attention spreads along the line, rather than moving along it, perhaps as part of an effortful object-parsing process. Three experiments tested the spreading and moving accounts of line tracing. Participants were presented with two inter-twined lines and were required to trace one to find the correct target. On half the trials, a masked change occurred, most often near the top of the target line, that reversed the required response. If attention spreads along the line, the participants should have been able to notice the change whenever it occurred during the tracing process. However, the participants found it harder to spot the change if it occurred late in the tracing process. This suggests that resources were less frequently available to detect changes on portions of the line that had already been traced when the change occurred. The results argue against a spreading trace of attention that encompasses the whole line.},
  author       = {Crundall, David and Dewhurst, Richard and Underwood, Geoffrey},
  issn         = {1943-393X},
  keyword      = {Visual attention,line tracing},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {374--388},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Attention, Perception & Psychophysics},
  title        = {Does attention move or spread during mental curve tracing?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/PP.70.2.374},
  volume       = {70},
  year         = {2008},
}