New objects can capture attention without a unique luminance transient

Christopher C. Davoli, Jason W. Suszko, Richard A. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Recent evidence has suggested that new objects capture attention solely because they are typically accompanied by a unique luminance transient. In the present study, we presented a stationary pattern mask after an array of placeholders but before a subsequent search display. This allowed all of the search elements to be presented simultaneously, thereby eliminating the unique luminance transient associated with the appearance of any new objects. Under these circumstances, new objects still captured attention. In another experiment, we jiggled the mask. This caused new objects to lose their advantage. We discuss implications for the importance of new objects, and the attentional consequences of motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-343
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


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