Selecting multiple features delays perception, but only when targets are horizontally arranged

Shih-Yu Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Based on the finding that perception is lagged by attention split on multiple features (Lo et al., 2012), this study investigated how the feature-based lag effect interacts with the target spatial arrangement. Participants were presented with gratings the spatial frequencies of which constantly changed. The task was to monitor two gratings of the same or different colors and report their spatial frequencies right before the stimulus offset. The results showed a perceptual lag wherein the reported value was closer to the physical value some time prior to the stimulus offset. This lag effect was larger when the two gratings were of different colors than when they were the same color. Furthermore, the feature-based lag effect was statistically significant when the two gratings were horizontally arranged but not when they were vertically or diagonally arranged. A model is proposed to explain the effect of target arrangement: When targets are horizontally arranged, selecting an additional feature delays perception. When targets are vertically or diagonally arranged, target selection for the lower field is prioritized. This prioritization on the lower target might prompt observers to only select the lower target and ignore the upper one, and this causes more perceptual errors without delaying perception.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Brain Research
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123
ISSN (Electronic)1875-7855


  • Feature-based attention
  • Laterality
  • Multiple-feature cost
  • Perceptual lag

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