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Miranda Petty, John Palmer, Cathleen Moore, Geoffrey Boynton; Cueing effects for simple detection are best accounted for by a decision model of selective attention. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1184. doi: 10.1167/18.10.1184.
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When given a spatial cue indicating where a visual target is likely to occur, observers are better at detecting the target when it appears at the likely, cued location than when it appears at an unlikely, uncued location. Two competing hypotheses have been used to account for this partially-valid cueing effect: selective perception with limited-capacity perception, and selective decision with unlimited-capacity perception. The goal of the current experiment was to distinguish these hypotheses. In particular, we focused on simple detection, which has previously been shown to be processed with unlimited-capacity. Participants completed a partially-valid cueing task with simultaneous and sequential displays. The target was a brief, low-contrast Gabor patch presented at one of two locations 10 degrees into the periphery. For each trial, there was a visual cue indicating where the target was likely to appear. The probability of the target appearing at the cued location was .8 (high-probability), and at the uncued location it was .2 (low-probability). In the simultaneous condition, the cued and uncued locations were presented simultaneously within one stimulus interval, whereas in the sequential condition these locations were presented sequentially in two stimulus intervals separated by a full second. For our selective perception hypothesis, a cueing effect is predicted for only simultaneous displays, while for our selective decision hypothesis, a cueing effect is predicted for both simultaneous and sequential displays. Results show a cueing effect for both the simultaneous and sequential conditions, which is inconsistent with selective perception with limited-capacity perception. Instead, this result is consistent with selective decision with unlimited-capacity perception.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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