Publication Date

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Kevin Jordan


channel enhancement, channel selection, covert visual attention, involuntary attention, voluntary attention

Subject Areas



The ability to fixate ones eyes on one object while attending to another object is known as covert visual attention. The present study investigated the effects of covert visual attention on reaction time (RT) and accuracy while manipulating cue types (i.e., informative and non-informative) and validity (i.e., valid and invalid) in two experiments. The results of the RT experiment revealed a main effect of validity and an interaction between cue types and cue validity. However, there was no main effect of attention type. The results of the Accuracy experiment were very similar; there was a main effect of validity but none for attention type, and there was an interaction of the two variables. These results provide evidence that voluntary attention may be causing channel enhancement. Some claim that involuntary attention may lead to channel selection, but this was not supported in the results. Further research should be conducted to better determine the process that occurs with involuntary attention.