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Stephen Adamo, Joseph Nah, Andrew Collegio, Paul Scotti, Sarah Shomstein; The Flux Capacitor Account: A New Account of Multiple Target Visual Search Errors. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):639. doi: 10.1167/18.10.639.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Multiple-target visual searches, where more than one target can be present in a search array, are subject to subsequent search miss (SSM) errors. SSM errors are characterized by a decrease in second target detection after successful detection of a first target. While SSM errors have been studied within radiology for over 50 years, their underlying cause remains elusive. Previous research suggested that SSM errors are driven, in part, by target similarity, such that a second target is more likely to be missed if it is a different color or category from a previously found target (e.g., Biggs et al., 2015). Here, we directly and systematically investigate the extent to which SSM errors are influenced by perceptual similarity in identity, rotation, and color. In Experiment 1, four search items were independently rotated either 0°, 90°, 180°, or 270° and presented for 400ms or 1000ms, centered around a fixation point. Second target accuracy improved when both targets shared identity (i.e., both Ts/Ls) and rotation, compared to when both targets were either different identities (i.e., a T and an L) or different rotations (e.g., two T's of different rotations). Experiment 2 and Experiment 3 retained the design of Experiment 1 with a key difference: similarity was parametrically manipulated with 0° (i.e., identical), 10°, 20°, or 80° difference between targets in color (color-wheel, Experiment 2) or rotation (Experiment 3). Consistent with our earlier finding, the results demonstrated that as target similarity increases, SSM errors decrease systematically. These results will be discussed within the framework of a new "Flux Capacitor" account of SSM errors. This account suggests that a first target acts as an attentional template for subsequent targets making it more likely to detect targets that are perceptually similar and more likely to miss targets that are perceptually dissimilar to a first target.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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