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Visual attention to color Essay


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Visual attention to color.

A peripheral cuing paradigm method used to determine if color information involuntarily draws attention. The participant tries to identify the presentation of a peripheral visual target while fixating visual attention to a central point. A cue appears a short while before the target is presented on the incoming target or at the opposite area. Here there is no need for the participant to willfully move attention. The aim is assess effects of cues with luminance information attracting automatic attention with effect from cues with color information only.

Condition luminance and dynamic noise introduced 5.6º from fixation tilted 45º clockwise or anticlockwise from the normal.

On each trial the fixation point is presented long with noise patches for 1,000 ms. Cue is then presented for 50ms. A period of 100 to 133ms before target is then again presented. The participant makes speeded two-option forced choice if the target moved clockwise or anticlockwise. Choice reaction times are used for stimulus identification.

Each trial the computer chooses at random the target location and the tilt. Observers are notified that cue does not predict target location and done for 300 trials. Stimuli is designed such that equiluminance cue precedes target to color information. This attracts attention to its location just as much as stimuli with luminance cue though the observant couldn’t deliberately move attention to cued location.

Color cue automatically captures attention when the target is also defined by color but not luminance. Colored cue is seen to be in competition with other cues with each cue having a large luminance increment. These findings suggest conditions in which a purely chromatic signal automatically attracts attention.



Snowden, Robert. J. Visual Attention to Color: Parvocellular Guidance of Attentional Resources? American Psychological Society?(2002).


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