Sensitization of the visual field

Robert Egly, Donald Homa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Three experiments investigated the identification or localization of a letter that was displaced from the fixation point by 1-3|. The S's task was to identify a fixated letter and identify (in Exp I with 24 undergraduates) or localize (in Exps II and III with 6 and 9 undergraduates, respectively) the displaced letter. On uncued trials, the displaced letter could appear at any of 8 locations on any of 3 rings surrounding the fixated letter; on cued trials, the ring containing the displaced letter was specified. Results indicate that cuing improved Ss' identification and localization of the displaced letter. Invalid cuing (Exp III) produced costs comparable in magnitude to the benefits. The distance of the target from the cued ring determined cost, but costs were unaffected by the appearance of a target within the presumed beam of attention. It is proposed that attention should be viewed as a general, rather than feature-specific, resource that can be voluntarily allocated to multiple regions of the visual field. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-793
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984


  • attentional cuing, identification &
  • localization of displaced letter in visual display, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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