Visual search for color and shape: when is the gaze guided by feature relationships, when by feature values?

Becker, Stefanie I., Harris, Anthony M., Venini, Dustin and Retell, James D. (2014) Visual search for color and shape: when is the gaze guided by feature relationships, when by feature values?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40 1: 264-291. doi:10.1037/a0033489


Author Becker, Stefanie I.
Harris, Anthony M.
Venini, Dustin
Retell, James D.
Title Visual search for color and shape: when is the gaze guided by feature relationships, when by feature values?
Journal name Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0096-1523
1939-1277
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/a0033489
Volume 40
Issue 1
Start page 264
End page 291
Total pages 28
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
 One of the most widespread views in vision research is that top-down control over visual selection is achieved by tuning attention to a particular feature value (e.g., red/yellow). Contrary to this view, previous spatial cueing studies showed that attention can be tuned to relative features of a search target (e.g., redder): An irrelevant distractor (cue) captured attention when it had the same relative color as the target (e.g., redder), and failed to capture when it had a different relative color, regardless of whether the distractor was similar or dissimilar to the target. The present study tested whether the same effects would be observed for eye movements when observers have to search for a color or shape target and when selection errors were very noticeable (resulting in an erroneous eye movement to the distractor). The results corroborated the previous findings, showing that capture by an irrelevant distractor does not depend on the distractor's similarity to the target but on whether it matches or mismatches the relative attributes of the search target. Extending on previous work, we also found that participants can be pretrained to select a color target in virtue of its exact feature value. Contrary to the prevalent feature-based view, the results suggest that visual selection is preferentially biased toward the relative attributes of a search target. Simultaneously, however, visual selection can be biased to specific color values when the task requires it, which rules out a purely relational account of attention and eye movements.
Keyword Biased competition
Contingent capture
Oculomotor capture
Relational theory
Similarity effect
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 18 Feb 2014, 10:30:02 EST by System User on behalf of School of Psychology