Cued Visual Attention Does Not Distinguish Between Occluded and Occluding Objects
Does visual attention spread from the cued end of an occluded object to locations occupied by inferred portions of that object? We investigated this question by using a probe detection paradigm with two-dimensional (2-D) displays of occluded objects. Probes could appear in occluded or nonoccluded locations on either a cued or noncued object. Participants responded faster to probes appearing within the region of space occupied by the cued object. This was true not only when the probe appeared in positions separated from the cued location by an occluder (as demonstrated by Moore, Yantis, & Vaughan, 1998), but also when it appeared in positions on the occluder itself. Thus, results suggest that cued facilitation spreads to regions of noncued occluding objects that overlap cued occluded objects in 2-D space.