Invisible collinear structures impair search

Hiu Mei Chow, Chia Huei Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Visual attention and perceptual grouping both help us from being overloaded by the vast amount of information, and attentional search is delayed when a target overlaps with a snake-like collinear distractor (Jingling & Tseng, 2013). We assessed whether awareness of the collinear distractor is required for this modulation. We first identified that visible long (=9 elements), but not short (=3 elements) collinear distractor slowed observers' detection of an overlapping target. Then we masked part of a long distractor (=9 elements) with continuous flashing color patches (=6 elements) so that the combined dichoptic percept to observers' awareness was a short collinear distractor (=3 elements). We found that the invisible collinear parts, like visible ones, can form a continuous contour to impair search, suggesting that conscious awareness is not a pre-requisite for contour integration and its interaction with selective attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-59
Number of pages14
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Awareness
  • Collinearity
  • Invisible
  • Visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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