Contextual cuing of visual search does not guide attention automatically in the presence of top-down goals

Luque, David and Beesley, Tom and Molinero, Sara and Vadillo, Miguel A. (2021) Contextual cuing of visual search does not guide attention automatically in the presence of top-down goals. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. ISSN 0096-1523 (In Press)

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Abstract

Visual search is faster when it occurs within repeated displays, a phenomenon known as contextual cuing (CC). CC has been explained as the result of an automatic orientation of attention towards a target item driven by learned distractor-target associations. In three experiments we tested the specific hypothesis that CC is an automatic process of attentional guidance. Participants first searched for a T target in a standard CC procedure. Then, they experienced the same repeated configurations (with the T still present), but now searched for a Y target that was positioned either in a location on the same, or on a different side, from the old T target. Results suggested that there was no interference caused by the old T-target: target search was not affected by the relative positions of the T and Y. Instead, we found a general facilitation in search times for repeated configurations (Experiments 1 and 2). This main effect disappeared when the need for visual search was eliminated in Experiment 3 using a “feature search task”. These results suggest that repeated sets of distractors did not trigger an uncontrollable response towards the position of the T; instead, CC was produced by perceptual learning processes.

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:
153490
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Apr 2021 13:35
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
In Press
Last Modified:
20 Jun 2021 06:13