Observers typically show systematic errors in spatial perception when asked to bisect a line. We examined whether misbisection relates to the extent by which the midpoint is scrutinized explicitly. Participants were required to position a soccer goalkeeper at the exact midpoint of the goal line, drawing explicit attention to the midpoint of the line. Subsequently, they carried out a penalty kick to score a goal, without eliciting explicit attention for the centre of the goal for choosing the side to which to kick the ball. We found that participants positioned the goalkeeper to the right of the centre, confirming the previously reported rightward bias for line bisections in extra-personal space. Although participants (erroneously) believed that the goalkeeper stood in the centre, they kicked the ball to the bigger side of the goal more often. These findings indicate that asymmetries in spatial perception are more evident with explicit than implicit attention.
Noël, B., van der Kamp, J., Weigelt, M., & Memmert, D. (2015). Asymmetries in spatial perception are more prevalent under explicit than implicit attention. Consciousness and Cognition, 34, 10-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2015.03.001