Perceptual Selectivity for Color and Form: On the Nature of the Interference Effect
HUMAN FACTORS RESEARCH INST TNO SOESTERBERG (NETHERLANDS)
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Previous research has shown that search for a shape singleton is disrupted by the presence of an irrelevant color singleton Theeuwes, 1991b, 1992. These findings have been treated as evidence for the hypothesis that, irrespective of a goal-directed attentional set on part of the observer, attention is unintentionally captured by the most salient singleton. This hypothesis was tested in two experiments in which subjects searched multi- element displays for a shape singleton. Subjects reported the Letter that always appeared inside the target shape singleton a green diamond. On some trials an irrelevant color singleton was present which contained a Letter that was compatible or incompatible with the Letter inside the target shape. As reported earlier, the presence of an irrelevant color singleton distracted goal-directed search for the shape singleton. The finding that the identity of the Letter inside the distractor affected responding to the Letter inside the target shape, provides support for the hypothesis that attention is captured by the most salient singleton. The identity of the Letter inside the distractor can only affect responding when it is assumed that attention is involuntarily drawn to the Location of the distracting singleton. Reaction time, Search, Selection, Target acquisition.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Optical Detection and Detectors