September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Through The Looking (Google) Glass: Attentional Costs in Distracted Visual Search
Author Affiliations
  • Joanna Lewis
    University of Central Florida
  • Mark Neider
    University of Central Florida
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 1360. doi:
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      Joanna Lewis, Mark Neider; Through The Looking (Google) Glass: Attentional Costs in Distracted Visual Search. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1360. doi:

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

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Devices using a Heads-Up-Display (HUD), such as Google Glass (GG), provide users with a wide range of informational content, often while that user is engaged in a concurrent task. It is unclear, however, how such information might interfere with attentional processes. Here, we evaluated how a secondary task load presented on GG affects selective attention mechanisms. Participants completed a visual search task for an oriented T target among L distractors (50 or 80 set size) on a computer screen. Our primary manipulation was the nature of a secondary task via the use (or non-use) of GG. More specifically, participants performed the search task while they either did not wear GG (control condition), wore GG with no information presented on it, or wore the GG with a word presented on it. Additionally, we also manipulated the instructions given to the participant regarding the relevance of the information presented on the GG (e.g., useful, irrelevant, or ignore). When words were presented on the GG, we tested for recognition memory with a surprise recognition task composed of 50% new and old words following the visual search task. We found an RT cost during visual search associated with simply wearing GG compared to when participants searched without wearing GG (~258ms) and when secondary information was presented as compared to wearing GG with no information presented (~225ms). We found no interaction of search set size and GG condition, nor was there and effect of GG condition on search accuracy. Recognition memory was significantly above chance in all instruction conditions; even when participants were instructed that information presented on the GG should be ignored, there was still evidence that the information was processed. Overall, our findings suggest that information presented on HUDs, such as GG, may induce performance costs on concurrent tasks requiring selective attention.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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