Anderson G M, Heinke D, Humphreys G W, 2006, "Top - down modulation in inefficient search: Evidence of differences between orientation and colour cuing" Perception 35 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Top - down modulation in inefficient search: Evidence of differences between orientation and colour cuing
G M Anderson, D Heinke, G W Humphreys
We examined the effects of pre-trial cuing of the target on conjunction visual search. In all experiments, two targets were used: either a blue horizontal or a green vertical bar, amongst blue vertical and green horizontal bar distractors. The cue stimulus was either informative (predicting target colour or orientation) or non-informative. For experiment 1, array size was either 7 or 15, with a 50:50 distractor ratio. Valid cuing led to a decrease in reaction time and increased search efficiency, while invalid cuing had opposite effects. Colour cuing led to a larger modulation of RT compared to orientation cuing, but cue dimension had no effect on search efficiency. In experiment 2, distractor ratio was varied while array size was constant. The cue validity effect varied with distractor ratio (stronger cuing to the smaller group), but dimensional modulation was additive across different ratios. The results suggest that cue validity affects processes at a perceptive level, guiding search to a cued subset of stimuli. However, the dimensional differences in attention modulation suggest either an early advantage for colour in segmenting the display into relevant and irrelevant regions, or that the colour cue allows faster translation of target detection into a response.
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