Whether the distribution of attention in the visual field declines from the focal point as monotonically decreasing gradient or as Mexican-hat-like distribution is still an open question, with some evidences supporting the former (e.g., Eriksen & Yeh, 1985) and other evidences supporting the latter (e.g., Müller, Mollenhauer, Rösler, & Kleinschmidt, 2005). Our research group presented experiments at Midwestern Psychological Association last year that examined the effects of perceptual load, cue-target stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) and set size on the distribution of attention. In the low-load condition, a strong quadratic trend was observed in the compatible flanker RTs, yielding a large flanker effect for the smallest target-flanker separation, smaller effects at intermediate separations, and a recovery of flanker effects at the widest separation. With the high load, a linear trend was observed, with flanker interference declining across distance from the target. The result of the low-load condition was compatible with accounts of a suppressive annulus around the focus of attention. The present poster extends the previously reported data set by introducing new data and a new analysis based upon extraction of local minima and maxima from each individual’s flanker interference functions. From the perspective of the selective tuning model of Tsotsos et al. (1995), pre-cuing the target location should allow time for visual attention to focus more narrowly on the target location. Therefore, it should be expected that the distance, in degrees of visual angle, between the local maximum and local minimum of each flanker interference function should decrease with cue-target SOA.
Brouhard, Brandy; Adamson, Jaclyn; Ashcraft, Rachael; and Warner, Bruce, "Does Precuing a Target Location Narrow the Distribution of Attention?" (2019). Posters. 5.