Pre-cues alleviate supercrowding without attracting focal attention
36.304, Sunday, May 12, 2:45 - 6:45 pm, Royal Ballroom 6-8
Joshua Solomon1; 1Optometry and Visual Science, City University London
The so-called "exogenous" spatial pre-cues, which precede the appearance of a target by ~100 ms, can facilitate all sorts of visual tasks, including target identification in the presence of flanking stimuli. In other words, pre-cueing diminishes crowding. In order to determine whether a facilitatory pre-cue engages focal attention, its effect can be compared with that of several, simultaneously displayed pre-cues. If the latter facilitate performance (only) with nearby targets just as much as the former, spatially focussed attention is unlikely to be involved. Such is the case with "supercrowding," wherein a post-mask exacerbates the effect of flanking stimuli on target identification. At this time it remains unclear which, if any, facilitatory effects ascribed to pre-cues actually involve focal attention.