ERIC Number: ED284104
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Aug-24
Reference Count: 0
Visuospatial Orientational Shifts: Evidence for Three Independent Mechanisms.
Noonan, Michael; Axelrod, Seymour
While it is often assumed that a single mechanism underlies varied experimental evidences of selectivity, Berlyne (1969) suggested that attention-like selectivity may take place in a number of quite separate neural systems. This study examined the issue of visuospatial attention by investigating covert orientation or "looking out of the corner of the eye." In a total of 12 experiments, the same 12 subjects faced a video screen containing 5 squares in a horizontal row. With visual fixation maintained in the center, subjects responded rapidly with a manual key-press to a target stimulus appearing at any time in any square. On each trial, the target stimulus was preceded by a stimulus designed to engage one of three types of covert orientation: reflexive orienting, learned orienting, or voluntary orienting. Separateness of the mechanisms underlying these three processes was hypothesized. The results revealed that, while no single mechanism by itself could be divided, any two different types could move to the left or right simultaneously, indicating a separateness and independence of underlying neural mechanisms. These findings suggest that visuospatial attention is better conceptualized as a class of phenomena than as a single entity. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (94th, Washington, DC, August 22-26, 1986).