ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (11): 1708-1722.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01708

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An Introduction to the Mechanisms and Influence Factors of Object-Based Attention

ZHAO Xin; YUAN Jie; XU Yining; FU Shimin   

  1. (Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China)
  • Received:2013-09-09 Online:2014-11-15 Published:2014-11-15
  • Contact: FU Shimin, E-mail:;


Visual selective attention is not only based on space, but also based on objects. Object-based Attention (OBA) has become an increasingly popular topic in the area of visual attention. The commonly used behavioral research paradigms to investigate OBA is two-rectangular cueing paradigm and flanker interference paradigm, Some electrophysiological and fMRI studies also explored the underlying neural substrates. Theories of the mechanisms of OBA are sensory enhancement hypothesis, attentional prioritization hypothesis and shift costing hypothesis. Evidence from various paradigms is provided to support these different theories respectively, but we propose that these theories may not be mutually exclusive. Stimulus characteristics, other perceptual processes and experience all influence OBA effect. Specifically, latest research focuses mostly on “object” definition and the factors that influence OBA effect. OBA effect emerged not only in objects defined by Gestalt principles, but also in top-down semantic object, invisible object and changed object.

Key words: object-based attention, space-based attention, two-rectangle paradigm, visual object