Detecting event-based prospective memory cues occurring within and outside the focus of attention

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Event-based prospective memory cues are environmental stimuli that are associated with a previously established intention to perform an activity. Such cues traditionally have been placed in materials that receive focal attention during an ongoing activity. This article reports a direct comparison of event-based cues that occurred either within the focus of attention or at the periphery of such attention. When the cue occurred outside focal attention, manipulating that cue changed event-based prospective memory. The identical manipulation had no effect on event-based responding if the cue occurred within focal attention. These results suggest that cue characteristics can compensate for attention being directed away from an aspect of an ongoing task that contains event-based prospective memory.

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The American journal of psychology

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