Correlational cuing as a function of target complexity and target-flanker similarity

Asher Cohen*, Ahuva Fuchs, Atara Bar-Sela, Yaron Brumberg, Hagit Magen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


It is generally assumed that the correlational cuing effect (CE) between targets and correlated flankers is due to learning association between the flankers and their correlated responses. The present study challenges this view. Experiment 1 shows that the CE for targets composed of color is eliminated as soon as the correlation is removed. Experiment 2 shows that the CE during training is not due to association of the flankers with responses. Experiment 3 shows that at least some of the CE during training with the correlation is due to repetition priming of the display. Experiment 4 replicates the results of Experiment 1 for orientation targets. In Experiments 5-7, more typical tasks with letter targets are examined, and it is demonstrated that preexperimental similarity between targets and correlated flankers is crucial. The CE for correlated but dissimilar target-flanker pairs, similar to that for color and orientation targets, is confined to on-line processes that occur during training. The CE is transferred, however, for correlated and similar target-flanker pairs. We propose that, at least for the simple stimulus to response mapping used in our study, the CE is not due to learning at all. Instead it is due to (1) on-line processes, such as repetition priming, that occur during training with the correlation and (2) a regular flanker effect (see, e.g., B. A. Eriksen & C. W. Eriksen, 1974) that occurs for similar target - flanker pairs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)275-290
Number of pages16
JournalPerception and Psychophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999


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