Visuospatial attention is strongly biased to locations that had frequently contained a search target before. However, the function of this bias depends on the reference frame in which attended locations are coded. Previous research has shown a striking difference between tasks administered on a computer monitor and those administered in a large environment, with the former inducing viewer-centered learning and the latter environment-centered learning. Why does environment-centered learning fail on a computer? Here, we tested 3 possibilities: differences in spatial scale, the nature of task, and locomotion may each influence the reference frame of attention. Participants searched for a target on a monitor placed flat on a stand. On each trial, they stood at a different location around the monitor. The target was frequently located in a fixed area of the monitor, but changes in participants' perspective rendered this area random relative to the participants. Under incidental learning conditions, participants failed to acquire environment-centered learning even when (a) the task and display resembled those of a large-scale task and (b) the search task required locomotion. The difficulty in inducing environment-centered learning on a computer underscores the egocentric nature of visual attention. It supports the idea that spatial scale modulates the reference frame of attention.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2015|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.
- Implicit learning
- Spatial attention
- Spatial reference frame
- Visual statistical learning