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01-07-2010 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2010

Psychological Research 4/2010

Endogenous cueing attenuates object substitution masking

Psychological Research > Uitgave 4/2010
Filip Germeys, I. Pomianowska, P. De Graef, P. Zaenen, K. Verfaillie


Object substitution masking (OSM) is a form of visual masking in which a briefly presented target surrounded by four small dots is masked by the continuing presence of the four dots after target offset. A major parameter in the prediction of OSM is the time required for attention to be directed to the target following its onset. Object substitution theory (Di Lollo et al. in J Exp Psychol Gen 129:481–507, 2000) predicts that the sooner attention can be focused at the target’s location, the less masking will ensue. However, recently Luiga and Bachmann (Psychol Res 71:634–640, 2007) presented evidence that precueing of attention to the target location prior to target-plus-mask onset by means of a central (endogenous) arrow cue does not reduce OSM. When attention was cued exogenously, OSM was attenuated. Based on these results, Luiga and Bachmann argued that object substitution theory should be adapted by differentiating the ways of directing attention to the target location. The goal of the present study was to further examine the dissociation between the effects of endogenous and exogenous precueing on OSM. Contrary to Luiga and Bachmann, our results show that prior shifts of attention to the target location initiated by both exogenous and endogenous cues reduce OSM as predicted by object substitution theory and its computational model CMOS.

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