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Jing Xu, Alejandro Lleras, Simona Buetti; Is there a relationship between object recognition ability and visual search efficiency?. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):525. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.525.
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Richler, Wilmer, and Gauthier (2017) proposed that object recognition ability can be understood as a specific type of cognitive ability, distinct from other general abilities like IQ and working memory. To measure this ability, the authors developed the Novel Object Memory Test (NOMT). Participants are presented with novel objects and must then identify the specific object amongst objects that closely resemble it. Performance on this test provides a good psychometric evaluation of an individual's ability to compare visual objects to a template momentarily stored in working memory and has high reliability across novel categories. Recently, Buetti, Cronin, Madison, Wang, and Lleras (2016) proposed that parallel visual search with a fixed target is also accomplished by comparing in parallel a target template to objects in a scene. If the objects are sufficiently dissimilar from the target, this comparison allows the observer to reject non-target objects in parallel and to quickly identify the location containing the target. Buetti et al. demonstrated that the logarithmic slope observed in fixed-target parallel search tasks can be interpreted as an index of the time it takes observers to reject a non-target item. Using an individual differences approach the current study investigated whether there is a relationship between the object recognition ability (assessed by the NOMT for two novel categories) and individuals' ability to reject non-target items in parallel in an efficient visual search task. Items were placed around fixation at three different eccentricities (spacing minimized crowding) and were cortically magnified to equate accumulation rates. The target was presented with 0, 1, 5, 15, 31 non-targets. Subjects differed in their logarithmic efficiency (range: ~10-60 ms/log unit) and they also differed in their NOMTs scores (range: ~40-90% correct), yet we found no strong evidence of a meaningful correlation between these two measures.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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