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Jonathan A. Stirk, Geoffrey Underwood; Low-level visual saliency does not predict change detection in natural scenes. Journal of Vision 2007;7(10):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/7.10.3.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Saliency models of eye guidance during scene perception suggest that attention is drawn to visually conspicuous areas having high visual salience. Despite such low-level visual processes controlling the allocation of attention, higher level information gained from scene knowledge may also control eye movements. This is supported by the findings of eye-tracking studies demonstrating that scene-inconsistent objects are often fixated earlier than their consistent counterparts. Using a change blindness paradigm, changes were made to objects that were either consistent or inconsistent with the scene and that had been measured as having high or low visual salience (according to objective measurements). Results showed that change detection speed and accuracy for objects with high visual salience did notdiffer from those having low visual salience. However, changes in scene-inconsistent objects were detected faster and with higher accuracy than those in scene-consistent objects for both high and low visually salient objects. We conclude that the scene-inconsistent change detection advantage is a true top–down effect and is not confounded by low-level visual factors and may indeed override such factors when viewing complex naturalistic scenes.
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