Blair CD, Caplovitz GP (2012). The effect of attention on context dependent synesthetic experiences. Seeing and Perceiving, 25(6), 619-629.

View the Full Publication Here.


Here we report the results of a brief experiment investigating the role of attention in mediating contextual effects on synesthetic experiences. Specifically, we examine a grapheme-color synesthete for whom the grapheme letter 'O' and number '0' are associated with two very different colors. We presented the grapheme '0' in an array of graphemes that provided ambiguous contextual cues, such that the same grapheme could be perceived either as the number '0' or as the letter 'O'. We find that an attentional cue that draws attention to one or the other of the contexts biases the perceived synesthetic color of the '0' grapheme to that associated with the cued context. This is true even when the physical color of the grapheme corresponds to the un-cued context.

Tse PU, Whitney D, Anstis S, Cavanagh P (2011). Voluntary attention modulates motion-induced mislocalization. J of Vision, 11(3):12.

View the publication here.


When a test is flashed on top of two superimposed, opposing motions, the perceived location of the test is shifted in opposite directions depending on which of the two motions is attended. Because the stimulus remains unchanged as attention switches from one motion to the other, the effect cannot be due to stimulus-driven, low-level motion. A control condition ruled out any contribution from possible attention-induced cyclotorsion of the eyes. This provides the strongest evidence to date for a role of attention in the perception of location, and establishes that what we attend to influences where we perceive objects to be.