October 2003
Volume 3, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2003
The breakdown of efficient search when either of two colour targets can appear
Author Affiliations
  • Tammy Menneer
    Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, England
Journal of Vision October 2003, Vol.3, 568. doi:10.1167/3.9.568
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      Tammy Menneer, Doug J Barrett, Luke Phillips, Nick Donnelly, Kyle R Cave; The breakdown of efficient search when either of two colour targets can appear. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):568. doi: 10.1167/3.9.568.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose. In visual search tasks, single target searches are most efficient when the target can be discriminated from other items in the display by differences within a single feature dimension. We investigate whether this efficiency is maintained when either of two targets specified by differences within a single feature dimension can appear. Method. Participants responded to the presence or absence of a specified color target in displays of eight heterogeneous color patches. Three separate searches were carried out, with participants searching for (i) color A, (ii) color B, or (iii) color A or B. The order of presentation was counterbalanced, and exposure thresholds for 71% correct performance were determined using a two up one down staircase procedure for single and multiple target searches (N=37). Results. Exposure thresholds in the A or B condition significantly exceeded the summed thresholds for conditions A and B. Identical search conditions using complex shapes, however, produced a different pattern of results with exposure thresholds for the A or B condition being statistically equivalent to the summed thresholds for conditions A and B. Conclusion. Searching simultaneously for either of two color-targets is very inefficient compared to searching for a single color-target. This suggests that guided search is possible for a single color-target but not for a single complex shape target, or for multiple color-targets when these are not linearly separable in color space from other items in the display.

Menneer, T., Barrett, D. J., Phillips, L., Donnelly, N., Cave, K. R.(2003). The breakdown of efficient search when either of two colour targets can appear [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 3( 9): 568, 568a, http://journalofvision.org/3/9/568/, doi:10.1167/3.9.568. [CrossRef]
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