In feature search tasks, uncertainty about the dimension on which targets differ from the nontargets hampers search performance relative to a situation in which this dimension is known in advance. Typically, these cross-dimensional costs are associated with less efficient guidance of attention to the target. In the present study, participants either had to perform a feature search task or had to perform a nonsearch task, that is, respond to a target presented without nontargets. The target varied either in one dimension or across dimensions. The results showed similar effects both in search and nonsearch conditions: Preknowledge of the target dimension gave shorter response times than when the dimension was unknown. Similar results were found using a trial-by-trial cueing. It is concluded that effects that typically have been attributed to early top-down modulation of attentional guidance may represent effects that occur later in processing. Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|