Tanaka Y, Shimojo S, 2001, "Temporal and spatial characteristics of attention to facilitate manual and eye-movement responses" Perception 30(3) 283 – 302
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Temporal and spatial characteristics of attention to facilitate manual and eye-movement responses
Yasuto Tanaka, Shinsuke Shimojo
Abstract. Previous investigation found that the speed of saccadic eye movements is enhanced when a temporal interval (gap) is introduced between the disappearance of a foveal fixation mark and the appearance of a peripheral target (the gap paradigm). Attention was shown to be involved in the gap paradigm. Here, we investigated relevant temporal and spatial characteristics of attention, manipulating central fixation marks and peripheral targets. Results from three experiments indicate that (i) the speed of manual and eye-movement detection is accelerated when a fixation mark changes abruptly (in less than 100 ms) before its termination in the gap paradigm; (ii) the speed is further accelerated when a peripheral target location is pre-cued; (iii) sufficient time for fixation (1000 ms) is necessary for the facilitation. These results suggest that fast and transient attention at the fixation spot facilitates attentional disengagement process that urges a spatial-orienting mechanism. Sustained attention is required in the engagement process during the fixation.
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