Barnas, AJ & Greenberg, AS (in press). Visual field meridians modulate the reallocation of object-based attention, Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.
Adam Barnas and Dr. Greenberg have a new manuscript accepted for publication in Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics in which they assess the role of the visual field meridians in how attention selects object information. Object-based attention (OBA) enhances processing within the boundaries of a selected object. Larger OBA effects have been observed for horizontal compared to vertical rectangles. Adam & Dr. Greenberg aimed to elucidate the modulatory role of the meridians on OBA. This study sought to examine how the reallocation of object-based attention within a cued object, and between cued and non-cued objects, varies as a function of crossing the horizontal and vertical meridians. Results demonstrate that OBA is allocated unevenly within objects that cross the screen meridians, regardless of whether those shifts take place within a cued object or between two objects. These findings necessitate the updating of OBA theories to include effects of crossing the horizontal and vertical visual field meridians, as well as the locations of the object and cue within the visual field.
Whether or not you’re aware of it, attention guides virtually all behavior and decisions as we interact with our environment. The underlying mechanisms that control attentional guidance is currently underspecified. In this study, Adam Barnas & Dr. Greenberg have provided new details concerning the conditions under which attention selects information on the basis of objects. Specifically, there seems to be an imbalance between shifts of object-based attention, but only when crossing the vertical or horizontal midline of the visual field. In line with these findings, Dr. Greenberg’s lab is continuing to explore related questions about attentional selection of objects.