Overt and covert object-based attention

Jason S. McCarley, Arthur F. Kramer, Matthew S. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To examine the role of perceptual object representations in the control of eye movements and attention, a pair of experiments adapted the object-cuing paradigm of Egly, Driver, and Rafal (1994) to require eye movements. Displays were pairs of adjacent rectangles, each containing two characters. Observers were asked to make a speeded judgment of a target character's orientation, and a cue was provided prior to target/distractor onset to indicate the target's likely location. Gaze-contingent presentation of target and distractors was used to demand overt scanning of displays. Eye movements during task performance evinced two forms of object-based effects. First, saccades following fixation on an invalidly cued item were more likely to be made within the cued rectangle than between rectangles. Second, saccades within the cued rectangle were preceded by shorter dwell times than saccades between rectangles. Extrafoveal processing of stimuli within the cued rectangle, however, was not facilitated, suggesting that covert attention was not allocated more densely within the cued than within the uncued object.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-758
Number of pages8
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Overt and covert object-based attention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this