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Michael Zehetleitner, Hermann J. Müller; Salience from the decision perspective: You know where it is before you know it is there. Journal of Vision 2010;10(14):35. doi: 10.1167/10.14.35.
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In visual search for feature contrast (“odd-one-out”) singletons, identical manipulations of salience, whether by varying target–distractor similarity or dimensional redundancy of target definition, had smaller effects on reaction times (RTs) for binary localization decisions than for yes/no detection decisions. According to formal models of binary decisions, identical differences in drift rates would yield larger RT differences for slow than for fast decisions. From this principle and the present findings, it follows that decisions on the presence of feature contrast singletons are slower than decisions on their location. This is at variance with two classes of standard models of visual search and object recognition that assume a serial cascade of first detection, then localization and identification of a target object, but also inconsistent with models assuming that as soon as a target is detected all its properties, spatial as well as non-spatial (e.g., its category), are available immediately. As an alternative, we propose a model of detection and localization tasks based on random walk processes, which can account for the present findings.
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