Detection of object onsets and offsets: Does the primacy of onset persist even with bias for detecting offset?

Donaldson, Maria J. & Yamamoto, Naohide (2016) Detection of object onsets and offsets: Does the primacy of onset persist even with bias for detecting offset? Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78(7), pp. 1901-1915.

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Onset primacy is a robust visual phenomenon in which appearance of new objects (onsets) in a scene more effectively captures observers’ attention compared to disappearance of previously viewed objects (offsets). We hypothesized that the human attentional system is programmed by default to prioritize the processing of onsets because quick detection of them is advantageous in most situations. However, the attentional priority may be able to flexibly adapt to the detection of object offsets depending on observers’ behavioral goals. To test these hypotheses, two experiments were conducted in which participants were biased toward finding offset of an existing object through top-down and bottom-up manipulations. Results showed that although onset primacy was reduced to some degree under strong offset bias, in general participants continued to detect onsets efficiently. These findings did not eliminate the possibility of attentional flexibility, but they do demonstrate the robustness of onset primacy, suggesting that environmental demands or motivational factors would need to be sufficiently strong for people to switch to an adaptive attentional mode.

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ID Code: 97614
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Onset primacy, Cognitive control, Attentional modulation, Change detection
DOI: 10.3758/s13414-016-1185-5
ISSN: 1943-3921
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Sensory Processes Perception and Performance (170112)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Springer
Deposited On: 25 Jul 2016 22:33
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2016 04:38

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