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Object onset and parvocellular guidance of attentional allocation

Cole, G.G.; Kentridge, R.W.; Heywood, C.A


G.G. Cole

C.A Heywood


The parvocellular visual pathway in the primate brain is known to be involved with the processing of color. However, a subject of debate is whether an abrupt change in color, conveyed via this pathway, is capable of automatically attracting attention. It has been shown that the appearance of new objects defined solely by color is indeed capable of modulating attention. However, given evidence suggesting that the visual system is particularly sensitive to new onsets, it is unclear to what extent such results reflect effects of color change per se, rather than effects of object onset. We assessed attentional capture by color change that occurred as a result of either new objects appearing or already-present“old” objects changing color. Results showed that although new object onsets accrued attention, changing the color of old objects did not. We conclude that abrupt color change per se is not sufficient to capture attention.


Cole, G., Kentridge, R., & Heywood, C. (2005). Object onset and parvocellular guidance of attentional allocation. Psychological Science, 16(4), 270-274.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 1, 2005
Deposit Date Mar 29, 2007
Journal Psychological Science
Print ISSN 0956-7976
Electronic ISSN 1467-9280
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 4
Pages 270-274