Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 80, Issue 7, pp 1833–1846 | Cite as

Effects of canonical color, luminance, and orientation on sustained inattentional blindness for scenes

  • Kelly WebsterEmail author
  • Jason Clarke
  • Arien Mack
  • Tony RoEmail author


Whether scene gist perception occurs automatically and unconsciously has been the subject of much debate. In addition to demonstrating a new method that adapts the Mack and Rock (1998) inattentional blindness cross procedure to allow for sustained inattentional blindness over a large number of trials, we report evidence from a series of experiments that shows that canonical scene features reduce inattentional blindness to scenes by facilitating the extraction of scene gist. When attentional demands are high, the combination of canonical color, canonical luminance, and canonical orientation reduces rates of inattentional blindness. However, when attentional demands are reduced, canonical features are independently sufficient to facilitate gist extraction and to capture attention. These results demonstrate that canonical color, canonical luminance, and canonical orientation all contribute to scene gist perception, and that when attentional demands are high, only highly canonical stimuli are sufficient to capture attention.


Divided attention Inattention Color Light Scene perception 


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in PsychologyGraduate Center of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNew School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA

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