When a distractor was presented simultaneously with or directly following a target, it produced more interference when it was presented in the same visual hemifield as the target than when it was presented in the opposite visual field. This result is interpreted in terms of biased competition; there is more competition between stimuli when they are presented in the same visual field, rather than in opposite visual fields. However, when the distractor was presented 125 msec or more prior to the target, this pattern was reversed. In those cases, there was more distractor interference when target and distractor were presented in opposite visual fields. This can be explained by assuming that attention was captured by the distractor, and that there was an additional cost of reorienting to a location in the opposite visual field. © 2010 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.