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Can one pay attention to a particular color?

Brawn, P. and Snowden, Robert Jefferson 1999. Can one pay attention to a particular color? Perception & Psychophysics 61 (5) , pp. 860-873. 10.3758/BF03206902

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Abstract

In an array of elements whose colors vary can we selectively choose to process all the items of a particular color preferentially in relation to those of another color? We addressed this question by presenting subjects with arrays containing many elements, and recording reaction times to a luminance change of one of the elements. Half the elements had one color and the other half another color-the spatial distribution being random. In two tasks-a simple detection of this change or a choice reaction time to the polarity of the change-we found that reaction times were independent of the number of items in the array. Cuing the subjects as to the color of the target item had no significant influence on the detection task, but subjects were faster if cued for the discrimination task. A further experiment replicated these findings and examined possible costs and benefits. Our fmal experiment separated the roles of attentional guidance and postattentional processes by having subjects judge the orientation of the target element and varying the magnitude of the target flash that defined which element was the target. Wefound that this judgment was also affected by color cuing, and that the size of the effect interacted with the flash strength, suggesting that color cuing has its influence at the stage of attentional guidance. Weconclude that subjects can selectively attend to items on the basis of color given the appropriate task and stimulus dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1943-3921
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:10
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/33875

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