The role of attention in illusory conjunctions

Yehoshua Tsal*, Nachshon Meiran, Nilli Lavie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In five experiments, we investigated the effects of attention on illusory conjunctions formed between features of unrelated objects. The first three experiments used a weak manipulation of attention and found that illusory conjunctions formed either among features receiving high attentional priority or among features receiving low attentional priority were not more frequent than were conjunctions formed between mixed features of different attentional priority. The last two experiments used a strong manipulation of attention and failed to reveal any evidence of true illusory conjunctions. The results are inconsistent with the feature-integration theory, which predicts that when attention is focused on a subset of items, illusory conjunctions ought to occur within and outside of the attended subset, but not between the attended and unattended items.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1994


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