The allocation of spatial attention in perception of motion



The present work is devoted to the experimental investigation of peculiarities of the influence of perception of a moving object on the simultaneous distribution of attention to the surrounding area depending on whether the given object is the object of attention or not. Detection of the probe stimulus, which appeared unexpectedly ahead, behind, aside from a moving object, or in his absence, was the main task of the observers. One half of the observers were instructed to ignore motion, while another half of the observers were instructed to track it. The study shows that, regardless of the instruction, probe stimulus were detected more efficiently in the presence of motion. Furthermore, the detection of probe stimulus was carried out faster in the case when probe stimulus appeared behind a moving object. Neither formed aim of tracking an object, nor aim of ignoring it affected the distribution of attention, however, the subjects of the «tracking» group systematically demonstrated slow reactions – this fact allows us to make a conclusion about the presence of the essential orientation of attention on the motion of objects in this group of observers. Interpretation and analysis of the results was conducted within the framework of premotor theory of attention (Rizzolatti et al., 1987).

General Information

Keywords: motion perception, spatial attention, tracking, ignoring, reaction time, premotor theory of attention

Journal rubric: Psychology of Perception

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Tyurina N.A., Utochkin I.S. The allocation of spatial attention in perception of motion. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2013. Vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 35–45. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalia A. Tyurina, Master of Psychology, Probationer-researcher, Laboratory of Cognitive Studies, Lecturer of the Department of Organizational Psychology, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

I. S. Utochkin, PhD in Psychology, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, State University - Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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