It's all about the transient: Intra-saccadic onset stimuli do not capture attention

Sebastiaan Mathôt, Jan Theeuwes


An abrupt onset stimulus was presented while the participants' eyes were in motion. Because of saccadic suppression, participants did not perceive the visual transient that normally accompanies the sudden appearance of a stimulus. In contrast to the typical finding that the presentation of an abrupt onset captures attention and interferes with the participants' responses, we found that an intra-saccadic abrupt onset does not capture attention: It has no effect beyond that of increasing the set-size of the search array by one item. This finding favours the local transient account of attentional capture over the novel object hypothesis.


attentional capture; visual transient; novel object; visual stability; change blindness; saccadic suppression; trans-saccadic integration

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