Lucy A M Bruce

The University of Warwick, Warwick, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (6)16.17 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Previous work has suggested that eye movements may be necessary for accurate enumeration beyond the subitization range of about 4 items. This study determined the frequency of eye movements normally made during enumeration, their relationship to response times, and whether they are required for accurate performance. This was achieved by monitoring eye movements and comparing performance when observers were allowed to saccade and when they were not. The results showed that (a) there was a sharp increase in saccadic frequency beyond about 4 items (from < 0.2 saccades per item to about 1 per item), and (b) enumeration of fewer than 4 items remained rapid and accurate even when eye movements were prevented, whereas enumeration beyond this became less efficient and sometimes less accurate. The results are discussed in relation to the memory and processing requirements of enumeration tasks.
    Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance 12/2007; 33(6):1389-99. DOI:10.1037/0096-1523.33.6.1389 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three experiments examined the effects of target-distractor (T-D) similarity and old age on the efficiency of searching for single targets and enumerating multiple targets. Experiment 1 showed that increasing T-D similarity selectively reduced the efficiency of enumerating small (< 4) numerosities (subitizing) but had little effect on enumerating larger numerosities (counting) or searching for a single target. Experiment 2 provided converging evidence using fixation frequencies and a finer range of T-D similarities. Experiment 3 showed that T-D similarity had a greater impact on older than on young adults, but only for subitizing. The data are discussed in terms of the mechanisms and architecture of early visual tagging, dissociable effects in search and enumeration, and the effects of aging on visual processing.
    Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance 06/2007; 33(3):549-69. DOI:10.1037/0096-1523.33.3.549 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the long-term consequences of migraine for cognitive functioning. This study compared older migraine patients with matched controls on four measures of cognitive ability, in a blinded design. Migraine patients and case-matched controls were recruited from the database records of a pre-existing study of ageing. Data were available from four tests of cognitive ability: verbal/arithmetic problem solving, spatial problem solving, processing speed, and vocabulary. There were no significant differences between the mean scores of migraine and control groups on any of the four cognitive tests. In addition, there were no significant differences between migraine and control groups in the effect of age on any of the four tests. A long history of migraine does not compromise scores on the four cognitive tests used in this study. These tests are predictive of memory and executive functioning in cognitive ageing, but it remains possible that lower-level cognitive processes, particularly as assessed by visual tasks, may be vulnerable to migraine.
    Cephalalgia 02/2006; 26(1):74-80. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2005.01001.x · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The enumeration of small numbers of objects (approximately 4) proceeds rapidly, accurately, and with little effort via a process termed subitization. Four experiments examined whether it was possible to subitize the number of features rather than objects present in a display. Overall, the findings showed that when features are presented randomly and are uncorrelated with object numerosity, efficient enumeration is not possible. This suggests that the visual system does not have parallel access to multiple feature maps and that subitization processes operate exclusively on representations coding the locations of objects. The data are discussed with respect to theories of visual enumeration and search.
    Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance 01/2006; 31(6):1449-62. DOI:10.1037/0096-1523.31.6.1449 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of old age on search, subitizing, and counting of difficult-to-find targets. In Experiment 1, young and older adults enumerated targets (Os) with and without distractors (Qs). Without distractors, the usual subitization-counting function occurred in both groups, with the same subitization span of 3.3 items. Subitization disappeared with distractors; older adults were slowed more overall by their presence but enumeration rates were not slowed by ageing either with or without distractors. In contrast, search rates for a single target (O among Qs) were twice as slow for older as for young adults. Experiment 2 tested and ruled out one account of age-equivalent serial enumeration based on the need to subvocalize numbers as items are enumerated. Alternative explanations based on the specific task differences between detecting and enumerating stimuli are discussed.
    The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 09/2005; 58(6):1119-42. DOI:10.1080/02724980443000511
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    ABSTRACT: Response time (RT) and fixation frequency were measured for young and older adults in search and enumeration tasks under high- and low-attentional competition conditions. There was an age-related decrement in search rates for single targets both for RT and fixation frequency, but there was no deficit in enumeration rates either with or without distractors even though serial enumeration rates were much slower than single target search rates. Fixation frequency per item in serial enumeration was much greater than in serial visual search for a single target. Enumerating targets with distractors produced an overall increase in RT and fixation frequency that was greater for older adults. The data are contrary to a generalized slowing account, and an alternative is proposed on the basis of the need to make eye movements in enumeration but not in search tasks.
    Psychology and Aging 07/2005; 20(2):226-40. DOI:10.1037/0882-7974.20.2.226 · 2.73 Impact Factor