Target 'on' or 'of' an object? It does not matter for object-based attention

Shahd Al-Janabi, Adam Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


An open question in the domain of object-based attention concerns the extent to which object-based cueing effects are affected by targets appearing as part ‘of’ an object (e.g., Watson & Kramer, 1999) versus ‘on’ an object (e.g., Egly et al., 1994). This distinction relates to whether or not the target involves a property change of the object. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to determine whether or not participants produce equivalent object-based cueing effects in a discrimination task when the target is ‘of’ rather than ‘on’ an object, all else being equal. On Day 1, participants discriminated whether a number that appeared on a wrench-like stimulus was odd or even. On Day 2, participants discriminated whether a gap that appeared as part of a wrench-like stimulus was large or small. With the exception of this target-object integration manipulation, the tasks were otherwise equated on factors of spatial cueing and object orientation.

First, as expected, we found a significant spatial cueing effect in both paradigms. Second, and importantly for this study, we also found a significant object-based cueing effect in both paradigms. This latter effect suggests that neither the emergence nor magnitude of object-based cueing effects is affected by target-object integration. Interestingly, the object-based cueing effect was, however, affected by object orientation, such that it emerged in the horizontal condition and reversed in the vertical condition, consistent with Pilz et al. (2012). This vertical orientation same-object cost became a same-object advantage when we controlled our analysis for shifts across visual field meridians (Greenberg et al., VSS 2014). We also investigated the implications of endogenous spatial cueing on attentional shifts across the meridians. Thus, our findings suggest that target-object integration, on its own, is not sufficient to modulate the distribution of object-based attention and/or the strength of object representations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-885
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


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