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Durham University



Publication details for Dr Daniel Smith

Smith, D.T., Ball, K., Swalwell, R. & Schenk, T. (2016). Object-based attentional facilitation and inhibition are neuropsychologically dissociated. Neuropsychologia 80: 9-16.

Author(s) from Durham


Salient peripheral cues produce a transient shift of attention which is superseded by a sustained inhibitory effect. Cueing part of an object produces an inhibitory cueing effect (ICE) that spreads throughout the object. In dynamic scenes the ICE stays with objects as they move. We examined object-centred attentional facilitation and inhibition in a patient with visual form agnosia. There was no evidence of object-centred attentional facilitation. In contrast, object-centred ICE was observed in 3 out of 4 tasks. These inhibitory effects were strongest where cues to objecthood were highly salient. These data are evidence of a neuropsychological dissociation between the facilitatory and inhibitory effects of attentional cueing. From a theoretical perspective the findings suggest that ‘grouped arrays’ are sufficient for object-based inhibition, but insufficient to generate object-centred attentional facilitation.

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