Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We used the preview search procedure (Watson, D. G., & Humphreys G. W. (1997). Prioritising selection for new objects by top-down attentional inhibition of old objects. Psychological Review, 104, 90-122.) to examine distractor grouping in visual search for categorically-defined targets in the orientation dimension (Wolfe, J. M., Friedman-Hill, S. R., Stewart, M. I., & O'Connell, K. M. (1992). The role of categorization in visual search for orientation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 18, 34-49). Participants searched for a relatively steep target presented amongst distractors of two shallow orientations. In a preview condition, the different distractors were presented in different time steps and search was found to be worse than a full-set baseline (Experiment 1). Further experiments determined this was not due to attentional capture by new distractors that were steeper than old items, nor to participants using different search strategies in the preview and full-set baselines. However, there were costs to performance when the old distractor group differed in orientation from the new distractors. We attribute the results to the preview condition disrupting grouping between distractors, with the different distractor groups then competing for selection with the target. An examination of the time-course of the preview effect suggested that grouping and segmentation was fast-acting, and separate from a process such as visual marking, involving the slow suppression of distractors over time. Under asynchronous presentation conditions, preview and new distractors that differ from the target orientation category, can compete rather than cooperate in grouping.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.visres.2007.01.027

Type

Journal article

Journal

Vision Res

Publication Date

05/2007

Volume

47

Pages

1464 - 1478

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Discrimination (Psychology), Discrimination Learning, Eye Movements, Female, Humans, Male, Orientation, Psychophysics, Visual Perception