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The effects of increasing target prevalence on information-processing during visual search

The effects of increasing target prevalence on information-processing during visual search
The effects of increasing target prevalence on information-processing during visual search
The proportion of trials on which a target is presented (referred to as the target prevalence) during visual search influences the probability that the target will be detected. As prevalence increases, participants become biased toward reporting that the target is present. This bias results in an increase in detection rates for the target, coupled with an increased likelihood of making a false alarm. Previous work has demonstrated that, as prevalence increases, participants spend an increasing period of time searching on target-absent trials. The goal of the present study was to determine the information processing during the additional time spent searching on target-absent trials as prevalence increased. We recorded participants’ eye movement behavior as they were engaged in low-prevalence (25% target-present trials), medium-prevalence (50%), or high-prevalence (75%) search. Increased prevalence primarily influenced search by increasing the time spent examining objects in the display, rather than by increasing the proportion of objects examined in each display. In addition, the additional time spent examining objects in high-prevalence target-absent trials was the result of revisiting objects. We discuss the implications of these results in relation to current models of search as well as ongoing efforts to alleviate the prevalence effect.
Godwin, H.J.
df22dc0c-01d1-440a-a369-a763801851e5
Menneer, T.
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Cave, K.R.
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Thaibsyah, M.
4ae2cca8-f556-4887-b300-ae27cf78bde9
Donnelly, N.
05c83b6b-ee8d-4c9d-85dc-c5dcd6b5427b
Godwin, H.J.
df22dc0c-01d1-440a-a369-a763801851e5
Menneer, T.
d684eaf6-1494-4004-9973-cb8ccc628efa
Cave, K.R.
6b785a60-6331-429a-9b98-d0b10264db5b
Thaibsyah, M.
4ae2cca8-f556-4887-b300-ae27cf78bde9
Donnelly, N.
05c83b6b-ee8d-4c9d-85dc-c5dcd6b5427b

Godwin, H.J., Menneer, T., Cave, K.R., Thaibsyah, M. and Donnelly, N. (2014) The effects of increasing target prevalence on information-processing during visual search. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. (doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0686-2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The proportion of trials on which a target is presented (referred to as the target prevalence) during visual search influences the probability that the target will be detected. As prevalence increases, participants become biased toward reporting that the target is present. This bias results in an increase in detection rates for the target, coupled with an increased likelihood of making a false alarm. Previous work has demonstrated that, as prevalence increases, participants spend an increasing period of time searching on target-absent trials. The goal of the present study was to determine the information processing during the additional time spent searching on target-absent trials as prevalence increased. We recorded participants’ eye movement behavior as they were engaged in low-prevalence (25% target-present trials), medium-prevalence (50%), or high-prevalence (75%) search. Increased prevalence primarily influenced search by increasing the time spent examining objects in the display, rather than by increasing the proportion of objects examined in each display. In addition, the additional time spent examining objects in high-prevalence target-absent trials was the result of revisiting objects. We discuss the implications of these results in relation to current models of search as well as ongoing efforts to alleviate the prevalence effect.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 15 July 2014
Published date: 15 July 2014
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 371678
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/371678
PURE UUID: 6a93f84f-940d-4958-a861-8f97f3869771

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Date deposited: 12 Nov 2014 12:33
Last modified: 27 Jun 2018 16:31

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