The attentional effects of single cues and color singletons on visual sensitivity

Alex L. White, Rasmus Lunau, Marisa Carrasco-Queijeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sudden changes in the visual periphery can automatically draw attention to their locations. For example, the brief flash of a single object (a "cue") rapidly enhances contrast sensitivity for subsequent stimuli in its vicinity. Feature singletons (e.g., a red circle among green circles) can also capture attention in a variety of tasks. Here, we evaluate whether a peripheral cue that enhances contrast sensitivity when it appears alone has a similar effect when it appears as a color singleton, with the same stimuli and task. In four experiments we asked observers to report the orientation of a target Gabor stimulus, which was preceded by an uninformative cue array consisting either of a single disk or of 16 disks containing a color or luminance singleton. Accuracy was higher and contrast thresholds lower when the single cue appeared at or near the target's location, compared with farther away. The color singleton also modulated performance but to a lesser degree and only when it appeared exactly at the target's location. Thus, this is the first study to demonstrate that cueing by color singletons, like single cues, can enhance sensory signals at an early stage of processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-652
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Cues
Color
Contrast Sensitivity
Stimulus

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Attentional capture
  • Color singletons
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Feature contrast
  • Single cues
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

The attentional effects of single cues and color singletons on visual sensitivity. / White, Alex L.; Lunau, Rasmus; Carrasco-Queijeiro, Marisa.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2014, p. 639-652.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

White, Alex L. ; Lunau, Rasmus ; Carrasco-Queijeiro, Marisa. / The attentional effects of single cues and color singletons on visual sensitivity. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 2014 ; Vol. 40, No. 2. pp. 639-652.
@article{be215b3ee21346e99426a84543dc9745,
title = "The attentional effects of single cues and color singletons on visual sensitivity",
abstract = "Sudden changes in the visual periphery can automatically draw attention to their locations. For example, the brief flash of a single object (a {"}cue{"}) rapidly enhances contrast sensitivity for subsequent stimuli in its vicinity. Feature singletons (e.g., a red circle among green circles) can also capture attention in a variety of tasks. Here, we evaluate whether a peripheral cue that enhances contrast sensitivity when it appears alone has a similar effect when it appears as a color singleton, with the same stimuli and task. In four experiments we asked observers to report the orientation of a target Gabor stimulus, which was preceded by an uninformative cue array consisting either of a single disk or of 16 disks containing a color or luminance singleton. Accuracy was higher and contrast thresholds lower when the single cue appeared at or near the target's location, compared with farther away. The color singleton also modulated performance but to a lesser degree and only when it appeared exactly at the target's location. Thus, this is the first study to demonstrate that cueing by color singletons, like single cues, can enhance sensory signals at an early stage of processing.",
keywords = "Attention, Attentional capture, Color singletons, Contrast sensitivity, Feature contrast, Single cues, Vision",
author = "White, {Alex L.} and Rasmus Lunau and Marisa Carrasco-Queijeiro",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1037/a0033775",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "40",
pages = "639--652",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance",
issn = "0096-1523",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The attentional effects of single cues and color singletons on visual sensitivity

AU - White, Alex L.

AU - Lunau, Rasmus

AU - Carrasco-Queijeiro, Marisa

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Sudden changes in the visual periphery can automatically draw attention to their locations. For example, the brief flash of a single object (a "cue") rapidly enhances contrast sensitivity for subsequent stimuli in its vicinity. Feature singletons (e.g., a red circle among green circles) can also capture attention in a variety of tasks. Here, we evaluate whether a peripheral cue that enhances contrast sensitivity when it appears alone has a similar effect when it appears as a color singleton, with the same stimuli and task. In four experiments we asked observers to report the orientation of a target Gabor stimulus, which was preceded by an uninformative cue array consisting either of a single disk or of 16 disks containing a color or luminance singleton. Accuracy was higher and contrast thresholds lower when the single cue appeared at or near the target's location, compared with farther away. The color singleton also modulated performance but to a lesser degree and only when it appeared exactly at the target's location. Thus, this is the first study to demonstrate that cueing by color singletons, like single cues, can enhance sensory signals at an early stage of processing.

AB - Sudden changes in the visual periphery can automatically draw attention to their locations. For example, the brief flash of a single object (a "cue") rapidly enhances contrast sensitivity for subsequent stimuli in its vicinity. Feature singletons (e.g., a red circle among green circles) can also capture attention in a variety of tasks. Here, we evaluate whether a peripheral cue that enhances contrast sensitivity when it appears alone has a similar effect when it appears as a color singleton, with the same stimuli and task. In four experiments we asked observers to report the orientation of a target Gabor stimulus, which was preceded by an uninformative cue array consisting either of a single disk or of 16 disks containing a color or luminance singleton. Accuracy was higher and contrast thresholds lower when the single cue appeared at or near the target's location, compared with farther away. The color singleton also modulated performance but to a lesser degree and only when it appeared exactly at the target's location. Thus, this is the first study to demonstrate that cueing by color singletons, like single cues, can enhance sensory signals at an early stage of processing.

KW - Attention

KW - Attentional capture

KW - Color singletons

KW - Contrast sensitivity

KW - Feature contrast

KW - Single cues

KW - Vision

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84897942522&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84897942522&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0033775

DO - 10.1037/a0033775

M3 - Article

VL - 40

SP - 639

EP - 652

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

SN - 0096-1523

IS - 2

ER -