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Hirokazu Ogawa, Katsumi Watanabe; Implicit learning of attentional guidance modulates visual preference. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):870. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/8.6.870.
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We examined whether implicit learning in a visual search task influences observers' preferences for the displays presented in the task. We used a contextual cueing task to let participants implicitly learn efficient attentional guidance in a display. There were three types of displays: displays in which both a target position and configuration of distractors were fixed (predictive displays), displays in which the entire display configuration was consistent but the target position was changed (non-predictive displays) and displays that were created for each presentation (novel displays). After the displays were learned through repetitive presentations in a visual search task, participants were asked to evaluate how “good” they thought the displays were (the participants were free to use their own criterion of “goodness”, e.g., composition, balance, attractiveness, etc.). The result demonstrated that preference value was higher for the non-predictive displays than for the novel display, suggesting that a mere exposure effect was produced by the repetitive presentation of the whole display configuration. But more importantly, the preference value for the predictive displays was higher than that for both the non-predictive and the novel displays, indicating that occurrence of contextual cueing improved not only search efficiency but also preference rating of the display. As the participants could not explicitly discriminate the repeated displays from the novel displays, the results suggest that implicit predictability of a visual display may modulate preference of the display.
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