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ERIC Number: EJ889625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1076-898X
Visual Search Asymmetries within Color-Coded and Intensity-Coded Displays
Yamani, Yusuke; McCarley, Jason S.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, v16 n2 p124-132 Jun 2010
Color and intensity coding provide perceptual cues to segregate categories of objects within a visual display, allowing operators to search more efficiently for needed information. Even within a perceptually distinct subset of display elements, however, it may often be useful to prioritize items representing urgent or task-critical information. The design of symbology to produce search asymmetries (Treisman & Souther, 1985) offers a potential technique for doing this, but it is not obvious from existing models of search that an asymmetry observed in the absence of extraneous visual stimuli will persist within a complex color- or intensity-coded display. To address this issue, in the current study we measured the strength of a visual search asymmetry within displays containing color- or intensity-coded extraneous items. The asymmetry persisted strongly in the presence of extraneous items that were drawn in a different color (Experiment 1) or a lower contrast (Experiment 2) than the search-relevant items, with the targets favored by the search asymmetry producing highly efficient search. The asymmetry was attenuated but not eliminated when extraneous items were drawn in a higher contrast than search-relevant items (Experiment 3). Results imply that the coding of symbology to exploit visual search asymmetries can facilitate visual search for high-priority items even within color- or intensity-coded displays. (Contains 2 tables and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois