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Durham University



Publication details for Dr Bob Kentridge

Cole, G.G., Kentridge, R.W. & Heywood, C.A. (2004). Visual salience in the change detection paradigm: The special role of object onset. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 30(3): 464-477.

Author(s) from Durham


The relative efficacy with which appearance of a new object orients visual attention was investigated. At issue is whether the visual system treats onset as being of particular importance or only 1 of a number of stimulus events equally likely to summon attention. Using the 1-shot change detection paradigm, the authors compared detectability of new objects with changes occurring at already present objects- luminance change, color change, and object offset. Results showed that appearance of a new object was less susceptible to change blindness than changes that old objects could undergo. The authors also investigated whether it is onset per se that leads to enhanced detectability or onset of an object representation. Results showed that the onset advantage was eliminated for onsets that did not correspond with the appearance of a new object. These findings suggest that the visual system is particularly sensitive to the onset of a new object.

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