Familiarity and pop-out in visual search

  title={Familiarity and pop-out in visual search},
  author={Qinqin Wang and Patrick Cavanagh and Marc A. Green},
  journal={Perception \& Psychophysics},
In this paper, we report that when the low-level features of targets and distractors are held constant, visual search performance can be strongly influenced by familiarity. In the first condition, a was the target amid as distractors, and vice versa. The response time increased steeply as a function of number of distractors (82 msec/item). When the same stimuli were rotated by 90° (the second condition), however, they became familiar patterns— and—and gave rise to much shallower search… 
Visual search asymmetry: The influence of stimulus familiarity and low-level features
It is demonstrated that search asymmetry and search efficiency in the U—F condition are influenced by the presence of low-level feature differences between the familiar and the unfamiliar stimuli and suggested that the familiarity of the distractors, rather than the familiarity difference between the target and the distractor, determines search efficiency.
The effect of familiarity on visual-search performance: Evidence for learned basic features
The results demonstrate that, contrary to earlier suggestions, search for a familiar item among familiar distractors can be easy and supports the hypothesis that familiarity improves distractor grouping.
Distractor familiarity leads to more efficient visual search for complex stimuli
It is found that familiar targets were located more efficiently than unfamiliar targets and that subjects were faster at locating targets that they had experienced in the majority of the search trials, showing that prolonged visual experience facilitates processing of both target and distractor items during search.
The development of visual search in infants and very young children.
In two experiments, 90 1- to 3-year-olds were trained in a new nonverbal task to touch a video screen that displayed a unique target resembling a popular television character that triggered a sound and produced four animated objects on the screen.
Orientation categories used in guidance of attention in visual search can differ in strength
It is concluded that the target/distractor difference reveals the number of orientation categories in visual search, and, accordingly, that there are four such categories: two strong ones centred on 0° and 90° and two weak onesCentred on 45° and 135°.
The effects of stimulus rotation and familiarity in visual search
The results show that a simple 45° rotation of a stimulus can affect search efficiency significantly—but only when this rotation bestows meaning, or familiarity, to that stimulus.
Visual search selectively enhances recognition of the search target
In Experiment 1, subjects performed a probe recognition task embedded within a task in which they searched for a single target letter (either a T or an L) in a field of distractor letters (Ls or Ts,
Eye movements and familiarity effects in visual search
A hypothesis based on low-level physiological processes is introduced to account for the familiarity effect, and results indicated comparably long, but fewer fixations when distractors are familiar.
Prioritization in visual search: Visual marking is not dependent on a mnemonic search
It is concluded that the mechanism of VM is distinct from mnemonic and/or serial inhibition-of-return processes as involved in search, although it is also discussed possible links to more global and flexible inhibition- of- return processes not necessarily related to search.
Searching for One Versus Two Identical Targets: When Visual Search Has a Memory
The present study sought to clarify the amnesic-search hypothesis by investigating whether memory processes can guide search in other contexts in which targets also have the potential to be tagged.


Search asymmetry: a diagnostic for preattentive processing of separable features.
Results are consistent with feature-integration theory, which predicts that a single feature should be detected by the mere presence of activity in the relevant feature map, whereas tasks that require subjects to locate multiple instances of a feature demand focused attention.
The effect of background familiarity in visual search: An analysis of underlying factors
The speed and accuracy of visual target search are strongly dependent on the familiarity of the background through which the search proceeds. Search through unfamiliar elements is much more difficult
Feature analysis in early vision: evidence from search asymmetries.
The results of a series of search experiments are interpreted as evidence that focused attention to single items or to groups is required to reduce background activity when the Weber fraction distinguishing the pooled feature activity with displayscontaining a target and with displays containing only distractors is too small to allow reliable discrimination.
Classification without Identification in Visual Search
  • J. Brand
  • Computer Science, Medicine
    The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology
  • 1971
It is suggested that familiar categorization responses may be immediate and may provide the basis for the discrimination of relevant from irrelevant items in rapid visual scanning.
Serial and parallel processing of visual feature conjunctions
It seems that the visual system is incapable of conducting a parallel search over two stimulus dimensions simultaneously, but this conclusion is extended for the conjunction of motion and colour, showing that it requires a serial search.
Preattentive processing in vision
  • A. Treisman
  • Computer Science
    Comput. Vis. Graph. Image Process.
  • 1985
Visual analysis appears to be functionally divided between an early preattentive level of processing at which simple features are coded spatially in parallel and a later stage at which focused
Visual search and stimulus similarity.
A new theory of search and visual attention is presented, which accounts for harmful effects of nontargets resembling any possible target, the importance of local nontarget grouping, and many other findings.
Guided search: an alternative to the feature integration model for visual search.
Searches for triple conjunctions (Color X Size X Form) are easier than searches for standard conjunctions and can be independent of set size, and three parallel processes can guide attention more effectively than two.
A conceptual category effect in visual search: O as letter or as digit
Evidence is presented for a processing mechanism in visual recognition that depends upon how the stimulus array is conceptually categorized rather than upon its physical characteristics. Ss had to
Surfaces versus features in visual search
This work manipulates binocular disparity to degrade visual search, so that otherwise identical features become parts of surfaces through perceptual completion, rendering them less clearly distinguishable as targets and abstractors.