Does feature similarity facilitate attentional selection?

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Attention, perception & psychophysics, Volume 72, Number 8, p.2128–43 (2010)



Adult, Association, Attention, Discrimination (Psychology), Female, Humans, Male, Motion Perception, Orientation, Pattern Recognition, Psychophysics, Visual, Young Adult


Object-based attention enables us to simultaneously select and report two features from the same visual object. Does feature-based attention contribute similarly to visual selection? In the present study, we investigated the concurrent discrimination of two motion fields with a divided attention paradigm. We found that dual-task performance improved when the two fields conformed to a continuous optic flow, consistent with "object-based" selection. However, we found no such improvement when the two motion fields were merely similar, as would have been expected from "feature-based" selection. Therefore, feature similarity does not facilitate attentional selection in the same way as belonging to the same object does.