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Thomas Geyer, Michael Zehetleitner, Hermann J. Müller; Contextual cueing of pop-out visual search: When context guides the deployment of attention. Journal of Vision 2010;10(5):20. doi: 10.1167/10.5.20.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Visual context information can guide attention in demanding (i.e., inefficient) search tasks. When participants are repeatedly presented with identically arranged (‘repeated’) displays, reaction times are faster relative to newly composed (‘non-repeated’) displays. The present article examines whether this ‘contextual cueing’ effect operates also in simple (i.e., efficient) search tasks and if so, whether there it influences target, rather than response, selection. The results were that singleton-feature targets were detected faster when the search items were presented in repeated, rather than non-repeated, arrangements. Importantly, repeated, relative to novel, displays also led to an increase in signal detection accuracy. Thus, contextual cueing can expedite the selection of pop-out targets, most likely by enhancing feature contrast signals at the overall-salience computation stage.
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