Prior entry and temporal attention: Cueing affects order errors in RSVP

F. Hilkenmeier, C.N.L. Olivers, I. Scharlau

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The law of prior entry states that attended objects come to consciousness more quickly than unattended ones. This has been well established in spatial cueing paradigms, where two task-relevant stimuli are presented near-simultaneously at two different locations. Here, we suggest that prior entry also plays a pivotal role in temporal attention paradigms, where stimuli appear at the same location but at distinct moments in time, in rapid serial presentation (RSVP). Specifically, we hypothesize that prior entry can explain temporal order reversals in reporting two targets from RSVP. In support of this, three experiments show that cueing attention toward either of the targets has a strong influence on order errors. We conclude that prior entry provides a viable explanation of the way in which relevant information is prioritized in RSVP. © 2011 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-190
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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