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Atsunori Ariga, Jun-ichiro Kawahara; The perceptual and cognitive distractor-previewing effect. Journal of Vision 2004;4(10):5. doi: 10.1167/4.10.5.
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The time it takes to respond to an odd-colored target (e.g., a red diamond among green diamonds) is reduced when distractor-colored items in an appropriate geometric configuration (e.g., multiple red diamonds) are previewed in a preceding trial. B. A. Goolsby and S. Suzuki (2002) suggested that this phenomenon, the distractor-previewing effect, occurs because target saliency is increased by global adaptation to the previewed distractors. The present study tested and extended this idea with visual search experiments using color, face, motion, and word stimuli. We found that the distractor-previewing effect can be obtained with all of these stimuli. In particular, we found that the distractor-previewing effect was elicited by prior activation of distractors by word labels, suggesting a high-level locus for the effect.
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