Searching for unknown feature targets on more than one dimension: investigating a "dimension-weighting" account.
ABSTRACT Search for odd-one-out feature targets takes longer when the target can be present in one of several dimensions as opposed to only one dimension (Müller, Heller, & Ziegler, 1995; Treisman, 1988). Müller et al. attributed this cost to the need to discern the target dimension. They proposed a dimension-weighting account, in which master map units compute, in parallel, the weighted sum of dimension-specific saliency signals. If the target dimension is known in advance, signals from that dimension are amplified. But if the target dimension is unknown, it is determined in a process that shifts weight from the nontarget to the target dimension. The weight pattern thus generated persists across trials, producing intertrial facilitation for a target (trial n + 1) dimensionally identical to the preceding target (trial n). In the present study, we employed a set of new tasks in order to reexamine and extend this account. Targets were defined along two possible dimensions (color or orientation) and could take on one of two feature values (e.g., red or blue). Experiments 1 and 2 required absent/present and color/orientation discrimination of a single target, respectively. They showed that (1) both tasks involve weight shifting, though (explicitly) discerning the dimension of a target requires some process additional to simply detecting its presence; and (2) the intertrial facilitation is indeed (largely) dimension specific rather than feature specific in nature. In Experiment 3, the task was to count the number of targets in a display (either three or four), which could be either dimensionally the same (all color or all orientation) or mixed (some color and some orientation). As predicted by the dimension-weighting account, enumerating four targets all defined within the same dimension was faster than counting three such targets or mixed targets defined in two dimensions.
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ABSTRACT: A new theory of search and visual attention is presented. Results support neither a distinction between serial and parallel search nor between search for features and conjunctions. For all search materials, instead, difficulty increases with increased similarity of targets to nontargets and decreased similarity between nontargets, producing a continuum of search efficiency. A parallel stage of perceptual grouping and description is followed by competitive interaction between inputs, guiding selective access to awareness and action. An input gains weight to the extent that it matches an internal description of that information needed in current behavior (hence the effect of target-nontarget similarity). Perceptual grouping encourages input weights to change together (allowing "spreading suppression" of similar nontargets). The theory accounts for harmful effects of nontargets resembling any possible target, the importance of local nontarget grouping, and many other findings.Psychological Review 08/1989; 96(3):433-58. · 9.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Arrays of lines or blobs were used to investigate the role of features vs feature contrast in preattentive vision. This study continues earlier work on orientation cues and extends it into the dimensions of motion and color. Tests were performed on patterns displaying continuous feature gradients, i.e. continuous variation, from element to element, in either line orientation, direction of motion, or color. In different series of experiments, the following four aspects of visual perception were investigated: (i) detection of a salient target ("odd man out" paradigm), (ii) segmentation of texture fields, (iii) search strategies for given targets, and (iv) figure-ground discrimination by grouping. Features were, in general, not found to play an important role in these tasks and performance was instead related to feature contrast. Only in the case of color did performance also depend upon hue, i.e. feature properties themselves. Whereas in all dimensions tested pop-out ("saliency") and segmentation were obtained from target or border elements whose local feature contrast was well above the level of variation elsewhere in the pattern, performance in the two latter tasks differed between orientation, motion, and color. In search, orientation targets were detected quickly when sufficiently distinct from their neighbors, but were apparently searched for serially if feature contrast was similar to that of other elements nearby. Color targets, however, were always detected fast in these patterns, independently of local feature contrast. Also, the perceived grouping of orientation or motion defined targets depended only on local feature contrast and not on the similarity of target elements. In fact, figures of dissimilar elements were seen as easily as figures of similar elements, indicating that, in these dimensions, stimulus coherence is not essential for the discrimination of figure and ground. For color, however, figures made up of the same targets were always seen slightly better than figures composed of different colors.Vision Research 10/1993; 33(14):1937-58. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Accumulating neuropsychological, electrophysiological and behavioural evidence suggests that the neural substrates of visual perception may be quite distinct from those underlying the visual control of actions. In other words, the set of object descriptions that permit identification and recognition may be computed independently of the set of descriptions that allow an observer to shape the hand appropriately to pick up an object. We propose that the ventral stream of projections from the striate cortex to the inferotemporal cortex plays the major role in the perceptual identification of objects, while the dorsal stream projecting from the striate cortex to the posterior parietal region mediates the required sensorimotor transformations for visually guided actions directed at such objects.Trends in Neurosciences 02/1992; 15(1):20-5. · 13.58 Impact Factor