Mislocalization of visual stimuli: Independent effects of static and dynamic attention

Sung en Chien*, Fuminori Ono, Katsumi Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Shifts of visual attention cause systematic distortions of the perceived locations of visual objects around the focus of attention. In the attention repulsion effect, the perceived location of a visual target is shifted away from an attention-attracting cue when the cue is presented before the target. Recently it has been found that, if the visual cue is presented after the target, the perceived location of the target shifts toward the location of the following cue. One unanswered question is whether a single mechanism underlies both attentional repulsion and attraction effects. We presented participants with two disks at diagonal locations as visual cues and two vertical lines as targets. Participants were asked to perform a forced-choice task to judge targets' positions. The present study examined whether the magnitude of the repulsion effect and the attraction effect would differ (Experiment 1), whether the two effects would interact (Experiment 2), and whether the location or the dynamic shift of attentional focus would determine the distortions effects (Experiment 3). The results showed that the effect size of the attraction effect was slightly larger than the repulsion effect and the preceding and following cues have independent influences on the perceived positions. The repulsion effect was caused by the location of attnetion and the attraction effect was due to the dynamic shift of attentional focus, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms for the retrospective attraction effect might be different from those for the repulsion effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28371
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 5
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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