The role of space and time in object-based visual search

D.B.B. Schreij, C.N.L. Olivers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recently we have provided evidence that observers more readily select a target from a visual search display if the motion trajectory of the display object suggests that the observer has dealt with it before. Here we test the prediction that this object-based memory effect on search breaks down if the spatiotemporal trajectory is disrupted. Observers searched a display for a target shape among multiple distractors. The entire search display then passed behind an occluder and reemerged in either the same or a different configuration. Experiment 1 shows that the same-object benefit for selection disappears whenever a spatial disruption is involved, but that it may survive a brief temporal disruption. Experiment 2 shows that with sufficiently long gaps, a temporal disruption also destroys the same-object benefit for selective attention. Experiment 3 demonstrates that the same-object effect is even stronger when there only is a very small probability that the target can be found at the same location as before. This also made the task sensitive to brief temporal disruptions. We conclude that a coherent spatiotemporal history of a display object supports the selection of its relevant subregions. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-329
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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