Response Selection in Visual Search: The Influence of Response Compatibility of Nontargets.

P.A. Starreveld, J. Theeuwes, K. Mortier

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The authors used visual search tasks in which components of the classic flanker task (B. A. Eriksen & C. W. Eriksen, 1974) were introduced. In several experiments the authors obtained evidence of parallel search for a target among distractor elements. Therefore, 2-stage models of visual search predict no effect of the identity of those distractors. However, clear compatibility effects of the distractors were obtained: Responses were faster when the distractors were compatible with the response than when they were incompatible. These results show that even in parallel search tasks identity information is extracted from the distractors. In addition, alternative interpretations of the results in terms of the occasional identification of a distractor before or after the target was identified could be ruled out. The results showed that flat search slopes obtained in visual search experiments provide no benchmark for preattentive processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-78
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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