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Bonnie Angelone, Stephanie Severino; Effects of individual differences on the ability to detect changes in natural scenes. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):461. doi: 10.1167/8.6.461.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The ability to detect visual changes is relevant to many every day tasks. It is important to discover the underlying cognitive processes and individual differences that may influence the ability to detect visual changes. Recent research suggests that individual differences play an important role in a number of cognitive abilities. In addition, the ability to accurately perceive natural scenes requires coordination of many abilities such as figure-ground segregation, encoding of details, focused attention to bind features, working memory, and perceptual speed.
Many factors that are dependent on the visual stimuli (external factors) have already been identified as playing a role in change detection performance. Research suggests that the type of task, type of change, scene complexity, and scene relevancy all influence how accurately observers detect changes. While all of these factors are specific to external components of the task, it is also important to examine factors that are internal to observers. Attentional breadth is one such factor that has been shown to affect change detection performance. Another important factor in detecting changes in natural scenes is the likelihood that certain changes will occur in the environment. In another vein, some cultures that are more holistic in their world view may be more sensitive to certain types of changes. As such, the current project expands this literature base by examining individual differences and their relation to change blindness.
Participants first completed a series of cognitive factors tasks that focus on field independence-dependence, visual memory for locations and perceptual speed. Then participants viewed natural scenes in which one object changed and their task was to detect this change as quickly as possible. Preliminary findings suggest that individual differences in visual memory for locations may account for differences in change detection ability.
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