Failure of spatial selectivity in vision

Suzanne V. Gatti, Howard E Egeth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In a modified Stroop word-color paradigm, subjects were instructed to identify the color of a target patch in the center of a briefly exposed visual display and to ignore color names printed above and below the patch at distances of 1, 3, and 5 deg of visual angle. Earlier studies of selective attention to a specified location in the visual field have shown that the focus of attention subtends approximately 1 deg of angle. That is, when distractors associated with an incompatible response are spaced within about 1 deg of the target, reaction time to the target is slower than when the distractors are not associated with an incompatible response. Our results show interference with a 5-deg separation between target and noise elements. This finding casts doubt on the utility of the notion of attentional selectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-184
Number of pages4
JournalBulletin of the Psychonomic Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1978


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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