The Impact of Shape-Based Cue Discriminability on Attentional Performance

Olga Lukashova-Sanz, Siegfried Wahl, Thomas S. A. Wallis, Katharina Rifai
2021 Vision  
With rapidly developing technology, visual cues became a powerful tool for deliberate guiding of attention and affecting human performance. Using cues to manipulate attention introduces a trade-off between increased performance in cued, and decreased in not cued, locations. For higher efficacy of visual cues designed to purposely direct user's attention, it is important to know how manipulation of cue properties affects attention. In this verification study, we addressed how varying cue
more » ... ty impacts the allocation of spatial endogenous covert attention in space and time. To gradually vary cue complexity, the discriminability of the cue was systematically modulated using a shape-based design. Performance was compared in attended and unattended locations in an orientation-discrimination task. We evaluated additional temporal costs due to processing of a more complex cue by comparing performance at two different inter-stimulus intervals. From preliminary data, attention scaled with cue discriminability, even for supra-threshold cue discriminability. Furthermore, individual cue processing times partly impacted performance for the most complex, but not simpler cues. We conclude that, first, cue complexity expressed by discriminability modulates endogenous covert attention at supra-threshold cue discriminability levels, with increasing benefits and decreasing costs; second, it is important to consider the temporal processing costs of complex visual cues.
doi:10.3390/vision5020018 pmid:33920907 fatcat:i4zwkojzlvgk7mwnqlkrizvfga