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In visual search, distractors that fall between fixation and the target are more disruptive than distractors that fall at the same eccentricity as the target (Wolfe, O'Neill, & Bennett, 1998). This sensitivity to the relative eccentricity of target and distractor elements originates from a space-based bias favoring stimuli closer to the fovea. We show that this spatial bias can be overruled by cuing attention to a ring-shaped object. We rule out various space-based explanations of these findings, including (1) attention to fronto-parallel planes in depth and (2) serial attention to different portions of a ring. We suggest that attentional selection of a ring-shaped object operates independently of, and can overrule, spatial biases in selection.

Original publication




Journal article


Percept Psychophys

Publication Date





743 - 751


Adult, Attention, Choice Behavior, Cues, Female, Fixation, Ocular, Humans, Male, Reaction Time, Space Perception, Visual Perception