September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
A Visual Imagery Induced Reversal of Priming of Pop-out
Author Affiliations
  • Brett Cochrane
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour, McMaster University
  • Andrea Nwabuike
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour, McMaster University
  • Dave Thomson
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Bruce Milliken
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour, McMaster University
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 937. doi:
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      Brett Cochrane, Andrea Nwabuike, Dave Thomson, Bruce Milliken; A Visual Imagery Induced Reversal of Priming of Pop-out. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):937.

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

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Maljkovic and Nakayama (1994) found that pop-out search performance is more efficient when a singleton target feature repeats rather than switches from one trial to the next – an effect known as Priming of PoP-out (PoP). They also reported findings indicating that the PoP effect is strongly automatic, as it was unaffected by knowledge of the upcoming target color. Across several experiments, we explored the impact of top-down strategies on the magnitude of the PoP effect by instructing participants either to imagine or to verbalize a color between trials of a pop-out search task. Under these conditions, responses were faster for targets that matched an imagined color than for targets that matched the previous target color, reversing the typical PoP effect. There was no such reversal of the PoP effect for those in the verbalize group. Further, we explored whether visual imagery and the PoP effect impact the same or different processes by comparing conditions in which a PoP effect either could or could not modulate the influence of visual imagery. We found that self-reported strong visual imagery eliminated the influence of PoP on visual imagery mediated search performance, suggesting that visual imagery impacts the same processes as drive the PoP effect. Overall, the results suggest that the processes driving the PoP effect are sensitive to top-down strategies that involve visual representations.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017


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