September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
The Effect of Object Size in Object-Based Attentional Selection
Author Affiliations
  • Joseph Nah
    The George Washington University
  • Marco Neppi-Modona
    University of Torino
  • Lars Strother
    University of Nevada, Reno
  • Marlene Behrmann
    Carnegie Mellon University
  • Sarah Shomstein
    The George Washington University
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 1337. doi:10.1167/17.10.1337
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      Joseph Nah, Marco Neppi-Modona, Lars Strother, Marlene Behrmann, Sarah Shomstein; The Effect of Object Size in Object-Based Attentional Selection. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):1337. doi: 10.1167/17.10.1337.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

While decades of research has provided evidence that within-object attentional shifts are faster than between-object shifts, most evidence is drawn from studies employing two objects that are identical in size. Thus, it remains unclear whether the size of an object influences attentional shifts within- and between-objects. Here, in a set of four experiments (3 behavioral and 1 eye-tracking), we manipulated the width of an object in a modified version of the classic two-rectangle paradigm by Egly et al. (1994). Participants were presented with one of three possible displays: (1) two identical parallel rectangles of two mixed widths (thin, thick), (2) two identical trapezoids (having both a thin and a thick end) that were inverted in orientation, or (3) two perceptually different yet physically identical parallelograms achieved by utilizing a variant of the famous Shepard's Table illusion. One end of an object was cued and participants performed a T/L discrimination or a target detection task, depending on the experiment. Combined results show that, in addition to the standard object-based effects, shifting attention within or between 'thick' objects or toward the 'thick' end of objects, resulted in significantly faster response times (RT) than the corresponding shifts of attention involving 'thin' objects or 'thin' object parts. The results were replicated with target detection tasks, providing evidence against a possible crowding explanation (targets in thin objects are detected more slowly because object edges are crowding the target). Additionally, object-based effects were replicated using eye-tracking measures (i.e., total number of saccades, saccade duration, saccade amplitude, peak velocity). Importantly, size effects were not observed in eye-tracking measures, providing further evidence against possible crowding effects. Taken together, these results suggest that deployment of object-based attention is modulated by properties of the object, such as its width; and that size affects attentional rather than motor processing

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017

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