NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1007123
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Rapid Acquisition but Slow Extinction of an Attentional Bias in Space
Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Rosenbaum, Gail M.; Herzig, Chelsey
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v39 n1 p87-99 Feb 2013
Substantial research has focused on the allocation of spatial attention based on goals or perceptual salience. In everyday life, however, people also direct attention using their previous experience. Here we investigate the pace at which people incidentally learn to prioritize specific locations. Participants searched for a T among Ls in a visual search task. Unbeknownst to them, the target was more often located in one region of the screen than in other regions. An attentional bias toward the rich region developed over dozens of trials. However, the bias did not rapidly readjust to new contexts. It persisted for at least a week and for hundreds of trials after the target's position became evenly distributed. The persistence of the bias did not reflect a long window over which visual statistics were calculated. Long-term persistence differentiates incidentally learned attentional biases from the more flexible goal-driven attention. (Contains 7 figures, 4 tables and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota