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Independent effects of endogenous and exogenous attention in touch

Jones, A. & Forster, B. (2013). Independent effects of endogenous and exogenous attention in touch. Somatosensory and Motor Research, 30(4), pp. 161-166. doi: 10.3109/08990220.2013.779243


Mechanisms of selective attention help us to focus on information of behavioural relevance from the stream of incoming information from our senses. Attention research distinguishes between reflexive (exogenous) and voluntary (endogenous) orienting of attention and a commonly used paradigm to investigate these types of attention was developed by Posner (1980). Typically in such a cue-target paradigm endogenous attention would be induced by an informative central cue indicating the most likely location for an upcoming peripheral target. Endogenous orienting generally leads to enhanced processing for targets at attended locations with facilitation of response times (RTs) (e.g., Müller & Rabbitt, 1989; Cohen, Bolanowski, & Verrillo, 2005). Exogenous orienting in a Posner paradigm would be induced by presenting non-informative peripheral cues. That is, a cue to the left or right will not give any indication of where the target is likely to appear. Although the cue in an exogenous paradigm is instructed to be ignored, it may have an effect on target processing, both by facilitation as well as inhibition (Miles, Poliakoff, & Brown, 2008). That is, when the target appears at the same side as the cue it can facilitate response times (e.g., Spence & McGlone, 2001) but also inhibit response times, known as inhibition of return (IOR; Klein, 2000; Posner & Cohen, 1984). IOR, a phenomenon which is slowed responses to previously cued locations compared to novel locations, is demonstrated when there is a longer stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between cue and target (approximately 300 ms in vision). The most popular conceptualization of the IOR effect is the reorienting hypothesis (e.g., Posner et al., 1985). This suggests attention is first drawn towards a stimulus. Once attention is disengaged IOR acts as a mechanism inhibiting attention to return to previously explored location, and thereby saving attentional resources (although see Berlucchi, 2006, and Lupianez, 2010 for a review of alternative views on what mechanisms underlie IOR).

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Tactile, Attention, Endogenous, Exogenous, Independent mechanisms
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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