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Theeuwes (1992) found a distracting effect of irrelevant-dimension singletons in a task involving search for a known target. He argued from this that selectivity is determined solely by stimulus salience; the parallel stage of visual processing cannot provide top-down guidance to the attentive stage sufficient to permit completely selective use of(More)
It is often assumed that the efficient detection of salient visual objects in search reflects stimulus-driven attentional capture. Evidence for this assumption, however, comes from tasks in which the salient object is task relevant and therefore may elicit a deliberate deployment of attention. In 9 experiments, participants searched for a nonsalient target(More)
Three central problems in the recent literature on visual attention are reviewed. The first concerns the control of attention by top-down (or goal-directed) and bottom-up (or stimulus-driven) processes. The second concerns the representational basis for visual selection, including how much attention can be said to be location- or object-based. Finally, we(More)
It has recently been proposed that in searching for a target defined as a conjunction of two or more separable features, attention must be paid serially to each stimulus in a display. Support for this comes from studies in which subjects searched for a target that shared a single feature with each of two different kinds of distractor items (e.g., a red O in(More)
Many theories of visual perception assume that before attention is allocated within a scene, visual information is parsed according to the Gestalt principles of organization. This assumption has been challenged by experiments in which participants were unable to identify what Gestalt grouping patterns had occurred in the background of primary-task displays(More)
Bacon and Egeth (1994) proposed that observed instances of attentional capture by feature singletons (e.g., color) were the result of a salience-based strategy adopted by subjects (singleton detection mode) and, thus, were not automatic. They showed that subjects could override capture by adopting strategies based on searching for specific target features(More)
Visual attention may be voluntarily directed to particular locations or features (voluntary control), or it may be captured by salient stimuli, such as the abrupt appearance of a new perceptual object (stimulus-driven control). Most often, however, the deployment of attention is the result of a dynamic interplay between voluntary attentional control(More)
Five experiments are reported from which it is concluded that attending on the basis of a stimulus feature (e.g., red) does not directly affect the sensory quality of stimuli that possess that feature. Feature-based attention was manipulated in a visual search task by providing information about the probability that the target would possess a given feature(More)
Conjunctive visual search is most difficult when distractor types are in equal proportions and gets easier as the proportions diverge (e.g., E. Zohary & S. Hochstein, 1989). This may reflect restriction of search to the feature shared by the target and the less-frequent distractor. Alternatively, such effects could reflect target salience, which varies with(More)