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The theory of perceptual load (Lavie & Tsal, 1994) proposes that with low load in relevant processing left over resources spill over to process irrelevant distractors. Interference could only be prevented under High-Load Conditions where relevant processing exhausts attentional resources. The theory is based primarily on the finding that distractor(More)
The substantial distractor interference obtained for small displays when the target appears alone is reduced in large displays when the target is embedded among neutral letters. This finding has been interpreted as reflecting low-load and high-load processing, respectively, thereby supporting the theory of perceptual load (Lavie & Tsal, 1994). However, a(More)
Lavie and de Fockert (2003) proposed that perceptual load and sensory limitations reflect two distinct mechanisms producing opposite effects: Perceptual load eliminates distractor interference, whereas sensory limitations enhance it. Tsal and Benoni (2010a) suggested that these results may have been due to the confounding effect of dilution--that is, to the(More)
The present paper provides a short critical review of the theory of perceptual load. It closely examines the basic tenets and assumptions of the theory and identifies major conceptual and methodological problems that have been largely ignored in the literature. The discussion focuses on problems in the definition of the concept of perceptual load, on the(More)
Perceptual load theory [Lavie, N. (1995). Perceptual load as a necessary condition for selective attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 21, 451-468.; Lavie, N., & Tsal, Y. (1994) Perceptual load as a major determinant of the locus of selection in visual attention. Perception & Psychophysics, 56, 183-197.] proposes(More)
pAttentional capture produced by a task-irrelevant color singleton is assumed to reflect stimulus-driven processing, completely governed by bottom-up factors. Results from two converging paradigms - search reaction time and free letter report - support the conclusion that singleton capture is fully determined by (top-down) expectation. The first series of(More)
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