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Shifting views on the symbolic cueing effect: Cueing attention through recent prior experience

Author(s): Bruce Milliken | Imran Ansari | Matthew J. C. Crump

Journal: Psicológica
ISSN 0211-2159

Volume: 29;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 97;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Several studies have demonstrated that centrally presented, non-predictive, directional symbols (arrows, directional words, eye gaze) can influence response times to detect the onset of a target item presented in a peripheral location. Although symbolic cueing effects have been reliably demonstrated, the underlying mechanisms that produce these effects are not well understood. In two experiments we test the idea that perceptual integration between cue-target pairs mediates symbolic cueing effects. Our findings suggest symbolic cueing effects may not necessarily reflect the orienting power of highly over-learned directional symbols. Rather, symbolic cueing effects are also mediated by relatively recent experiences with coherent cuetarget objects during the experimental session. We elaborate on the implications of our findings for conventional explanations of symbolic cueing effects.
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