How Colour Information is Attended to in Visual Search: Distinguishing between a Relational and Guided Search Account

David Nugent (2010). How Colour Information is Attended to in Visual Search: Distinguishing between a Relational and Guided Search Account Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author David Nugent
Thesis Title How Colour Information is Attended to in Visual Search: Distinguishing between a Relational and Guided Search Account
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Stefanie Becker
Total pages 81
Abstract/Summary The relational account and guided search account differ in the specificity of visual search within dimensions. Feature-based accounts espouse multiple coarse feature maps, while relational accounts espouse a single, continuous feature space. This study uses a visual cueing paradigm to test the most likely account across two experiments. Experiment One critically tests whether it is possible to set attention in the direction of orange. guided search would hypothesise that attention can only be directed towards base colours, while the relational account supports an attentional set for orange. Results were mixed; although the fastest reaction time was for the reddest coloured cues, the orange cue may have been inhibited. Although these results support that attention can only be directed in the direction of base colours, the inhibition of a mixed colour supports a feature space view instead of feature maps. Experiment Two investigates the possibility of a simpler feature space for preattentive search by using a colour wheel type feature space, with a winner-take-all cueing paradigm, in order to establish which cue has the highest attention driving capacity. guided search hypothesises that the red cue would capture attention the most, while the relational account hypothesises that one of the other three cues – orange, yellow-orange, or yellow; would capture attention the most. Results found that red cues produced the fastest reaction time, with orange cues producing the slowest reaction time. Furthermore, the task was significantly easier when orange cues did not occur at the location of the target. It is concluded that although attention can be directed only toward base colours, a locus of inhibition is created around the target colour in feature space, to prevent confusability with similar colours. Implications for current theories of attention and the applied significance of this research are discussed.

 
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Created: Tue, 05 Apr 2011, 14:49:40 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology