Object-centred Orienting of Attention

Carlo Umiltà, Marzia Fontana, Alec Vestri, Umberto Castiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study two experiments are reported in which the subjects were presented on a computer screen with a two-dimensional line drawing that is perceived as a three-dimensionalobject (i.e. a cube). The cube could be seen as stationary, as rotating about the y-axis (Experiment 1A), or as rotating about the x- axis (Experiment 1B). The subject’s attention was directed by a visual precue to a vertex of the cube. As the cube rotated, the precued location moved in viewer-centred co-ordinates, but the local feature of the cube that had been precued (i.e. a given vertex) did not move in object-centred co-ordinates. The imperative stimulus was presented at the precued location (valid trials) or at an uncued location (invalid trials). Precued and uncued locations were determined in object-centred co-ordinates. The subjects were required to signal detection of the imperative stimulus by pressing the space bar on the computer keyboard. There were also control conditions in which the procedure was identical, but the cube was not visible. When the cube was visible, valid trials were faster than invalid trials, regardless of whether it was seen as stationary or rotating. It was concluded that the subjects could allocate spatial attention in object-centred co-ordinates. There were also indications that responses for invalid trials were faster when the imperative stimulus was presented on the same face as the precue than when it was presented on the opposite face.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-181
Number of pages17
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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