The attentional capture debate: the long-lasting consequences of a misnomer

Dominique Lamy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The article by Luck, Gaspelin, Folk, Remington and Theeuwes (2021, Visual Cognition, 29, 1–21) attempts to integrate the views currently defended by prominent actors in the “attentional-capture” debate. However, it glosses over important differences that remain between the competing accounts. In this commentary, I suggest that many of the lingering divergences are rooted in the fact that the authors often base their conclusions on net capture / suppression effects rather than on the modulation of these effects by relevant variables. I illustrate with two concrete examples, how relying on the presence vs. absence of attentional capture or suppression prompts the authors to sacrifice parsimony in order to account for their findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-547
Number of pages4
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2021


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1286/16


    • Salience
    • attention
    • attentional set
    • suppression
    • visual search


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