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Xiaoyan (Angela) Qin, Wilma Koutstaal, Stephen Engel; Perceptual exposure does not alter advantage for familiar brand logos in visual search. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):684. doi: 10.1167/13.9.684.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Familiarity often benefits visual search. We previously found that familiar brand logos (e.g., Coke) were searched for faster and more efficiently than less familiar logos (e.g., Mello-Yello). Can such familiarity be created in the lab? We explored this question in 7 experiments, with different perceptual familiarization tasks. Subjects were trained on 10 unfamiliar logos that served as target items in a visual search task. Other targets included 10 untrained unfamiliar logos and 20 pre-experimentally familiar logos. All distractor logos in search displays were unfamiliar. To minimize memory demands, subjects were cued on each trial with the image of a target, which remained present throughout the trial. Search set sizes were 3, 6, or 9 logos. In Experiments 1-3, an N-back-like familiarization task was used, in which subjects monitored sequences of logos for repetitions. In Experiments 4 and 5, subjects answered 14 questions about perceptual details (e.g., shape, color) of each unfamiliar logo. In Experiments 6 and 7, subjects were trained with the 14 questions on two separate days. In all 7 experiments, pre-experimentally familiar target logos were searched for faster than unfamiliar untrained logos (all overall RT differences p <0.001) with significantly shallower slopes relating RT to number of items in the display (p <0.05 in 6 of the 7 experiments). However, perceptual familiarization did not facilitate overall search speed for initially unfamiliar logos (RT differences p > 0.05, except in Experiment 3, p = 0.041) or change search slopes (p > 0.05 in all experiments). We conclude that logo familiarity is a robust phenomenon that cannot be easily obtained through laboratory perceptual training. The visual benefits of familiarity with everyday objects, such as brand logos, may depend upon experience in more elaborated contexts that support semantic processing.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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