Are attentional dwell times inconsistent with serial visual search?

Cathleen M. Moore, Howard Egeth, Lyndon R. Berglan, Steven J. Luck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Duncan, Ward, and Shapiro (1994) estimated that attention must remain focused on an object for several hundred milliseconds before being shifted to another object, and they referred to this period as the attentional dwell time. An important implication of these long estimates of the dwell time for models of visual search is that the search process must not involve an item-by-item serial scanning mechanism. If it did, then searching through an array of items would require enormous amounts of time, which -based on data from visual search experiments - it does not. The present report, however, provides evidence that the long estimates of attentional dwell time were caused, at least in part, by the use of masked targets. Implications of these variable estimates of the attentional dwell time for models of visual search are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-365
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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