Comparing the time course and efficacy of spatial and feature-based attention

Taosheng Liu, Sean T. Stevens, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the time course of feature-based attention and compared it to the time course of spatial attention in an experiment with identical stimuli and task. Observers detected a speed increment in a compound motion stimulus preceded by cues that indicated either the target location or direction. The cue-target stimulus-onset-asynchrony (SOA) was varied to assess the time course of the attentional effect. We found that spatial attention was deployed earlier than feature-based attention and that both types of attention improved performance to a similar extent at a longer SOA. Results indicate that attention is a flexible mechanism allowing us to efficiently select task-relevant information based on either spatial or feature dimensions, but that spatial attention exert its effects faster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalVision research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Feature
  • Psychophysics
  • Spatial
  • Time course
  • Visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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