Orienting of attention with eye and arrow cues and the effect of overtraining

D. Guzzon, D. Brignani, C. Miniussi, C. A. Marzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In contrast to the classical distinction between a controlled orienting of attention induced by central cues and an automatic capture induced by peripheral cues, recent studies suggest that central cues, such as eyes and arrows, may trigger a reflexive-like attentional shift. Yet, it is not clear if the attention shifts induced by these two cues are similar or if they differ in some important aspect. To answer this question, in Experiment 1 we directly compared eye and arrow cues in a counter-predictive paradigm while in Experiment 2 we compared the above cues with a different symbolic cue. Finally, in Experiment 3 we tested the role of over-learned associations in cueing effects. The results provide evidence that eyes and arrows induce identical behavioural effects. Moreover, they show that over-learned associations between spatially neutral symbols and the cued location play an important role in yielding early attentional effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Arrows
  • Central cues
  • Eyes
  • Orienting of attention
  • Over-learned association mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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