Journal article

Timing divided attention

Hinze Hogendoorn, Thomas A Carlson, Rufin VanRullen, Frans AJ Verstraten



Visual attention can be divided over multiple objects or locations. However, there is no single theoretical framework within which the effects of dividing attention can be interpreted. In order to develop such a model, here we manipulated the stage of visual processing at which attention was divided, while simultaneously probing the costs of dividing attention on two dimensions. We show that dividing attention incurs dissociable time and precision costs, which depend on whether attention is divided during monitoring or during access. Dividing attention during monitoring resulted in progressively delayed access to attended locations as additional locations were monitored, as well as a one-off..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a Pioneer grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to F.A.J.V. We thank Marjolein Kammers and three anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to H. Hogendoorn, Helmholtz Institute, Experimental Psychology Division, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands (e-mail: