Capture of attention by visual onsets

Robin Martin-Emerson, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


The appearance of a new object within a multiple item display has been shown to capture attention in a stimulus-driven manner. Capture may be either beneficial or detrimental to performance depending on whether the new object is a target or distractor. In the present study we show that the ability of new objects to capture attention is mediated by the number of objects that change or morph. This finding establishes a boundary condition of the phenomena of attentional capture and has implications for the design of complex displays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1385-1389
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
EventProceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Part 2 (of 2) - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: Oct 9 1995Oct 13 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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    Martin-Emerson, R., & Kramer, A. F. (1995). Capture of attention by visual onsets. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2, 1385-1389.