Author(s): Proulx MJ
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Abstract Understanding the relative role of top-down and bottom-up guidance is crucial for models of visual search. Previous studies have addressed the role of top-down and bottom-up processes in search for a conjunction of features but with inconsistent results. Here, the author used an attentional capture method to address the role of top-down and bottom-up processes in conjunction search. The role of bottom-up processing was assayed by inclusion of an irrelevant-size singleton in a search for a conjunction of color and orientation. One object was uniquely larger on each trial, with chance probability of coinciding with the target; thus, the irrelevant feature of size was not predictive of the target's location. Participants searched more efficiently for the target when it was also the size singleton, and they searched less efficiently for the target when a nontarget was the size singleton. Although a conjunction target cannot be detected on the basis of bottom-up processing alone, participants used search strategies that relied significantly on bottom-up guidance in finding the target, resulting in interference from the irrelevant-size singleton.
This article was published in J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy