Background distraction during vertical solid and character line bisections

Academic Article


  • © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background–objectives: When vertical lines are positioned above or below the center of the page, line bisection deviates toward the center of the page, suggesting that the edges of the page distract the allocation of attention to the line. A letter-character line (LCL) bisection requires both global and focal attention, to identify the target letter closest to the line’s center. If more focal and less global attention is allocated to a LCL, more global attentional resources may be available and inadvertently allocated to the page. Alternatively, if the allocation of focal attention to a LCL inhibits global attentional processing, there may be less distraction by the page. Method: Twenty-four healthy adults (12 older) bisected vertical solid and character lines centered, or positioned closer to the top or bottom of the page. Results: There was no difference between bisection of solid and character lines centered on the page. Page-related deviations were greater with character lines than solid line bisections, and greater for lines positioned toward the top than the bottom of the page. With lines positioned toward the top, the older participants’ attempted bisections were higher than those of the younger participants. Conclusions: These results suggest that the allocation of focal attention increases global attentional distractibility and that global-background attentional distraction is greater when the vertical lines are placed in the upper part of the page. Older participants appeared to be less distracted when lines were placed toward the top of the page, but the reason for this age difference requires further research.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rodriguez JA; Lamb DG; Salazar L; Correa LN; Mosquera DM; Schwartz ZJ; Cohen RA; Falchook AD; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 887
  • End Page

  • 894
  • Volume

  • 40
  • Issue

  • 9