UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The attentional repulsion effect is influenced by non-perceptual manipulations DiGiacomo, Alessandra


The Attentional Repulsion Effect (ARE) refers to the phenomenon whereby a central target consisting of two aligned lines is misperceived to be offset in the direction opposite a preceding peripheral visual event. The prevailing explanation is that the ARE results from a transient change in the visual receptive fields. In a series of three experiments, the present investigation tests and lends initial support to a different explanation: that the ARE arises from a comparison between different spatial reference frames. Without altering the task, we found that the ARE can be eliminated by simply introducing some trials where the top line is unambiguously located to the left or right of the bottom line. Changing the task from a directional to a non-directional one caused the classic ARE to disappear as well, although a new form of the ARE was discovered.

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