June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Effects of priming visual relatedness and expectancy on visual search performance
Author Affiliations
  • Kenneth Hailston
    Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Elizabeth T. Davis
    Georgia Institute of Technology
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 528. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.528
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      Kenneth Hailston, Elizabeth T. Davis; Effects of priming visual relatedness and expectancy on visual search performance. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):528. https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.528.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Identifying and locating a target can be difficult when uncertainty exists about what to look for or even where to look. Cognitive research in matching and classification tasks (Neely, 1977; Posner & Snyder, 1975) have shown that uncertainty is reduced both by semantic priming, which is fast-acting but decays rapidly, and by expectancy, which has a slower onset but persists much longer.

The current study extended their cognitive approach to a visual search paradigm in the perceptual-cognitive domain. We manipulated visual-relatedness between prime and target so that they were either identical (same) or different. We manipulated expectancy by varying the proportion of validly primed trials. The inter-stimulus interval (ISI) between offset of prime and onset of search display also was varied.

Our goals were two-fold: (a) Does visual priming affect a brief sensory store that decays rapidly (e.g., Sperling, 1960) or a longer-lasting store, such as a visuo-sketchpad (Baddeley, 1993) or visual-implicit memory (Schacter & Cooper, 1993)? (b) Do the onsets of expectancy and priming occur simultaneously or does one precede the other?

Twelve college-age subjects were tested and, at the beginning of the session, were informed of the prime's validity (20%, 50%, or 80%). They had to identify and locate the target within a brief visual search display of four objects.

Response accuracy data indicated that the effects of visual priming decayed very rapidly, implying a sensory store mechanism rather than a visuo-spatial sketchpad or visual implicit memory. Moreover, visual priming effects occurred before the onset of expectancy.

Hailston, K. Davis, E. T. (2006). Effects of priming visual relatedness and expectancy on visual search performance [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):528, 528a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/528/, doi:10.1167/6.6.528. [CrossRef]
 Supported by the National Science Foundation

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