Attentional components in early visual processing: A strength model of visual selective attention
Attentional processes in early visual processing were studied in three experiments: attention gating, partial report, and whole report. An attention gating experiment investigated the time course of spatial attentional shifts in response to three different tonal cues. Results: (1) An attentional shift takes about 200-300 msec. (2) Performance is relatively independent of the cue.
Partial and whole reports experiments were conducted to (1) examine whether the effect of spatial location depends on the experimental procedure, (2) characterize the persistence of iconic memory, (3) evaluate perceptual factors such as visual acuity and interference, and (4) characterize the subject's strategy of attention allocation prior to the instructional cue or stimulus presentation when the letter matrix is singly presented in a trial.
A general model of the attentional control of mental processing is proposed to account simultaneously for the results of all the experiments. The model disentangles the effects of perceptual and attentional processes; each process is characterized by a space-time separable function. Parameters are jointly estimated from the three experiments. The model accounts for about 92% of the variance of the data.