Are changes in semantic and structural information sufficient for oculomotor capture?

J. Wong, M. Peterson, Anne Hillstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The abrupt onset of objects often involuntarily captures attention (J. Jonides & S. Yantis, 1988) and the eyes (J. Theeuwes, A. F. Kramer, S. Hahn, & D. Irwin, 1998). The new-object hypothesis proposes that the appearance of something new (new semantic and structural information and/or spatiotemporal newness), not the accompanying low-level perceptual transients, causes an involuntary reorienting of attention (S. Yantis & A. P. Hillstrom, 1994). We investigated whether semantic and structural changes alone are sufficient to capture the eyes as strongly as abrupt onsets do. Observers moved their eyes to a target object while another object either onset or smoothly and quickly morphed. If semantic and structural changes are sufficient to capture the eyes, morphs should capture the eyes as strongly as onsets do. Results show that morphs were not fixated first as often as onsets. These findings indicate that new semantic and structural information alone is far less effective at capturing the eyes as onsets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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