There is More to Contextual Cuing than Meets the Eye:Improving Visual Search without Attentional Guidance towards Predictable Target Locations

Vadillo, Miguel A. and Gimenez-Fernandez, Tamara and Beesley, Tom and Shanks, D.R. and Luque, David (2020) There is More to Contextual Cuing than Meets the Eye:Improving Visual Search without Attentional Guidance towards Predictable Target Locations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. ISSN 0096-1523 (In Press)

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Abstract

It is usually easier to find objects in a visual scene as we gain familiarity with it. Two decades of research on contextual cuing of visual search show that repeated exposure to a search display can facilitate the detection of targets that appear at predictable locations in that display. Typical accounts for this effect attribute an essential role to learned associations between the target and other stimuli in the search display. These associations improve visual search either by driving attention towards the usual location of the target or by facilitating its recognition. Contrary to this view, we show that a robust contextual cuing effect can also be observed when repeated search displays do not allow the location of the target to be predicted. These results suggest that, in addition to the mechanisms already explored by previous research, participants learn to ignore the locations usually occupied by distractors, which in turn facilitates the detection of targets even when they appear in unpredictable locations.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3205
Subjects:
ID Code:
147434
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
24 Sep 2020 15:10
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
In Press
Last Modified:
31 Oct 2020 07:20