VISION, CENTRALAttentional resources and pop-out detection in search displaysSchubö, Annaa; Schröger, Erichb; Meinecke, Cristinac; Müller, Hermann J.aAuthor Information aDepartment of Psychology Ludwig–Maximilian University, Munich bInstitute of Psychology, University of Leipzig cInstitute of Psychology, University of Erlangen, Germany Correspondence to Anna Schubö, Department of Psychology, Ludwig–Maximilian University, Leopoldstr. 13, D-80802 Munich, Germany Tel: +49 0 89 2180 6048; fax: +49 0 89 2180 5211; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Received 21 June 2007; accepted 2 July 2007 NeuroReport: October 8th, 2007 - Volume 18 - Issue 15 - p 1589-1593 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282efa08e Buy Metrics Abstract Detecting pop-out targets is often considered as a fast, spontaneous and preattentive process. In most experimental studies, however, the observer's attention is explicitly focused on the detection task. We investigated pop-out detection under varying attention conditions: when pop-out displays were (a) not attended and not relevant, (b) attended and relevant and (c) could be attended but were not relevant. Event-related potentials were recorded for color and orientation pop-out targets and target-absent trials. When stimuli were attended, the N2pc component for color pop-outs was more pronounced than N2pc for orientation pop-outs, indicating that saliency modulated the attracting of an observer's attention. Results, however, showed no evidence for preattentive processing of pop-outs when they were not attended and not task relevant. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.