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Christopher W. Myers, Wayne D. Gray; Visual scan adaptation during repeated visual search. Journal of Vision 2010;10(8):4. doi: 10.1167/10.8.4.
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There is no consensus as to how to characterize eye fixations during visual search. On the one hand, J. M. Wolfe, G. A. Alvarez, and T. S. Horowitz (2000) have described them as a haphazard sequence of fixations. On the other hand is research that shows systematic repetition of visual patterns when freely viewing a scene (T. Foulsham & G. Underwood, 2008; D. Noton & L. W. Stark, 1971a). Two experiments are reported that demonstrate the repetition and adaptation of visual scans during visual search, supporting an adaptive scanning hypothesis. When trials were repeated in a simple search task, visual scan similarity and search efficiency increased. These increments in similarity and efficiency demonstrate the systematic and adaptive nature of visual scans to the characteristics of the visual environment during search.
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