Increased perceptual distraction and task demand enhances gaze and non-biological cuing effects.


This study aims to improve understanding of how distracting information and target task demands influence the strength of gaze and non-biological (arrow and moving line) cuing effects. Using known non-predictive central cues, we manipulated the degree of distraction from additional information presented on the other side of the target, and target task difficulty. In Experiment 1, we used the traditional unilateral cuing task, where participants state the location of an asterisk and the non-target location is empty (no distraction). Experiment 2 comprised a harder localisation task (which side contains an embedded oddball item) and presented distracting target-related information on the other side. In Experiment 3, we used a discrimination task (upright or inverted embedded T) with distracter information that was unrelated or related to the target (low vs. high distraction, respectively). We found that the magnitude of cuing scaled with the degree of combined distraction and task demands, increasing up to six-fold from Experiments 1 and 2 to the high-distraction condition in Experiment 3. Thus, depleting attentional resources in this manner appears to weaken the ability to ignore uninformative directional cues. Findings are discussed within the framework of a resource-limited account of cue inhibition.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Joint attention,attention orienting,distraction,gaze cuing,social attention,task demand,Physiology,Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology,Experimental and Cognitive Psychology,Psychology(all),Physiology (medical)
Publication ISSN: 1747-0226
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2024 07:21
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2020 10:36
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https://journal ... 747021820959633 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-02-01
Published Online Date: 2020-09-28
Accepted Date: 2020-08-03
Authors: Gregory, Samantha (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2601-2873)
Jackson, Margaret C.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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