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ERIC Number: EJ934644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
A Clash of Bottom-Up and Top-Down Processes in Visual Search: The Reversed Letter Effect Revisited
Zhaoping, Li; Frith, Uta
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n4 p997-1006 Aug 2011
It is harder to find the letter "N" among its mirror reversals than vice versa, an inconvenient finding for bottom-up saliency accounts based on primary visual cortex (V1) mechanisms. However, in line with this account, we found that in dense search arrays, gaze first landed on either target equally fast. Remarkably, after first landing, gaze often strayed away again and target report was delayed. This delay was longer for target "N" We suggest that the delay arose because bottom-up saliency clashed with top-down shape recognition. Thus, although gaze landed accurately and quickly to the distinctive feature in the target shape (the orientation of the diagonal bar in "N" or "[image omitted]"), the identical zigzag shape of target and distractors was registered, leading to temporary confusion. In sparser search arrays with smaller set sizes, top-down target shape recognition occurs earlier and bottom-up saliency is weaker. The clash in this case causes search asymmetry even before target location at first gaze landing. Our findings rule out previous suggestions that search asymmetry stems from stronger preattentive salience for the reversed target and/or faster rejection of familiar distractors. (Contains 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A