Resolving conflicting views: Gaze and arrow cues do not trigger rapid reflexive shifts of attention.
It has become widely accepted that the direction of another individual's eye gaze induces rapid, automatic, attentional orienting, due to it being such a vital cue as to where in our environment we should attend. This automatic orienting has also been associated with the directional-arrow cues used in studies of spatial attention. Here, we present evidence that the response-time cueing effects reported for spatially non-predictive gaze and arrow cues are not the result of rapid, automatic shifts of attention. For both cue types, response-time effects were observed only for long-duration cue and target stimuli that overlapped temporally, were largest when the cues were presented simultaneously with the response-relevant target, and were driven by a slowing of responses for invalidly cued targets rather than speeding for validly cued ones. These results argue against automatic attention-orienting accounts and support a novel spatial-incongruency explanation for a whole class of rapid behavioral cueing effects.
Green, JJ; Gamble, ML; Woldorff, MG
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