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Tomoyuki Tanda, Jun Kawahara; Templates for rejection occur only in early trials in intermixed search arrays. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):310. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.310.
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Our visual system can actively prioritize a specific property to search for a target. Similarly, the system can suppress a group of distractors containing an irrelevant property, enhancing search performance. Such suppression, known as templates for rejection (Arita, Carlisle, & Woodman, 2012), has been demonstrated when search arrays of colored items were segregated according to hemifield; however, no suppression was found when the items were spatially intermixed. The present study examined the effect of spatial arrangements (i.e., spatial segregation or intermixing) on the efficacy of templates for rejection when items are differentiated by shape. Participants indicated the orientation of a target line segment in a shape when items were spatially segregated according to hemifield. They were precued by (a) a positive cue (e.g., a circle), indicating that the target will appear in the cued shape; (b) a negative cue (e.g., a square), indicating that the target will never appear in the cued shape; or (c) a neutral cue, indicating that the shape will not appear in the present search array. Reaction times for orientation judgments were faster under the negative- than under the neutral-cue condition, suggesting the operation of templates for rejection based on shape. As subsidiary experiments used intermixed search arrays, no templates for rejection were expected based on the literature. Although, the results showed no templates for rejection when averaged across whole trials, closer inspection of the data revealed that templates for rejection were created, but only in the earliest block. We also found that reaction times showed the largest decrease under the neutral-cue condition when compared to the negative-cue condition. We conclude that shape-based templates for rejection can be created when items are spatially segregated. Templates for rejection are available even in spatially intermixed arrays, although the suppression effect dissipates quickly in the course of trials.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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