Luminance-increment detection: capacity-limited or not?

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1991 Feb;17(1):107-24. doi: 10.1037//0096-1523.17.1.107.


Three experiments investigated whether spatial cuing influences luminance-increment detection accuracy. Ss saw multiple-target displays and responded yes or no to 4 locations, including cued position. To test whether cuing effects are due to the load on visual short-term memory from the number of locations, Experiments 1 and 2 presented displays with 4 or 8 relevant locations. Experiment 1 used peripheral cues; Experiment 2 used central cues. Significant cuing effects were less marked with 4- than 8-location displays. Cuing effects were largest with multiple targets, but a small reliable effect remained even with single targets. Experiment 3 replicated the single-target effect with predominantly multiple- and single-target displays. A capacity-limited selection account is developed for these findings and their implications are discussed for separate central and peripheral cuing mechanisms and the locus of spatial cuing effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Cues
  • Discrimination Learning*
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Psychophysics
  • Reaction Time
  • Visual Perception*