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Angela Vavassis, Michael W. von Grünau; Practice-induced improvements for target detection in rapidly presented visual search displays is temporal-context-dependent. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):159. doi: 10.1167/6.6.159.
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Purpose: The current study examined perceptual learning of dual target-location associations within the same visual scene at various visual search display durations (ranging from 500msec. to 50msec.). The study assessed whether acquired improvements in target detection accuracy for rapidly presented visual search displays (50msec.) over successive sessions are temporal-context-dependent. Method: Participants consisted of 4 Concordia University Psychology students with normal or corrected-to-normal vision. Testing was subdivided into a series of training sessions, spanning two consecutive days, and a testing session on a third consecutive day. During training, rapidly presented stimulus displays (50msec.) were presented randomly amongst all other stimulus display durations (mixed sessions). The testing session consisted of rapidly presented displays only (rapid-only session). Results: As a result of perceptual learning, target detection accuracy for 50msec. trials significantly improved between the first mixed session and last mixed session (p=.010). Accuracy for 50msec. trials significantly deteriorated between the last mixed session and the rapid-only session (p=.024). A comparison of 50msec. trials between the first mixed session and the rapid-only session revealed that performance had returned to pre-training accuracy (p=1.000). Conclusion: These findings may suggest an incapacity for sustained high-speed perceptual processing even for well-practiced visual search tasks.
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