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ow swiftly can the object of your attention be changed? Consider two
 

Summary: H
ow swiftly can the object of your
attention be changed? Consider two
ways to deploy attention: it can be
commanded from place to place by a delib-
erate act of will, or it can run freely without
specific instruction. Here we use a visual
search task to show that deliberate move-
ment of attention is significantly slower
because of an internal limit on the speed of
volitional commands.
Extensive research on visual search tasks
such as finding the letter F in Fig. 1a has
revealed that stimuli of this sort can be
searched at a rate equivalent to one letter
every 2550 ms (ref. 1). The order of search,
even of eye movements, is influenced by
stimulus salience and eccentricity, but is
otherwise random through the set of salient
loci2

  

Source: Alvarez, George A. - Department of Psychology, Harvard University
Harvard University, Visual Attention Lab

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine