Object and spatial representations in the corner enhancement effect

Cole, Geoff G.; Skarratt, Paul A. and Gellatly, Angus R. H. (2007). Object and spatial representations in the corner enhancement effect. Perception and Psychophysics, 69(3) pp. 400–412.

URL: http://app.psychonomic-journals.org/content/69/3/4...


Cole, Gellatly, and Blurton (2001) have shown that targets presented adjacent to geometric corners are detected more efficiently than targets presented adjacent to straight edges. In six experiments, we examined how this corner enhancement effect is modulated by corner-of-object representations (i.e., corners that define an object’s shape) and local base-level corners that occur as a result of, for instance, overlapping the straight edges of two objects. The results show that the corner phenomenon is greater for corners of object representations than for corners that do not define an object’s shape. We also examined whether the corner effect persists within the contour boundaries of an object, as well as on the outside. The results showed that a spatial gradient of attention accompanies the corner effect outside the contour boundaries of an object but that processing within an object is uniform, with no corner effect occurring. We discuss these findings in relation to space-based and object-based theories of attention.

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