Christian Valuch, Peter König, and Ulrich Ansorge (2017)

Memory-guided attention during active viewing of edited dynamic scenes.

Journal of Vision, 17(1).

Films, TV shows, and other edited dynamic scenes contain many cuts, which are abrupt transitions from one video shot to the next. Cuts occur within or between scenes, and often join together visually and semantically related shots. Here, we tested to which degree memory for the visual features of the precut shot facilitates shifting attention to the postcut shot. We manipulated visual similarity across cuts, and measured how this affected covert attention (Experiment 1) and overt attention (Experiments 2 and 3). In Experiments 1 and 2, participants actively viewed a target movie that randomly switched locations with a second, distractor movie at the time of the cuts. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants were able to deploy attention more rapidly and accurately to the target movie’s continuation when visual similarity was high than when it was low. Experiment 3 tested whether this could be explained by stimulus-driven (bottom-up) priming by feature similarity, using one clip at screen center that was followed by two alternative continuations to the left and right. Here, even the highest similarity across cuts did not capture attention. We conclude that following cuts of high visual similarity, memory-guided attention facilitates the deployment of attention, but this effect is (top-down) dependent on the viewer’s active matching of scene content across cuts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

open access article
Sponsor: ERC. Grant: ERC-2010- AdG #269716. Other Details: MULTISENSE. Recipients: König, Peter