Searching in the dark:Cognitive relevance drives attention in real-world scenes

Henderson, John M., Malcolm, George L. ORCID: and Schandl, Charles (2009) Searching in the dark:Cognitive relevance drives attention in real-world scenes. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 16 (5). pp. 850-856. ISSN 1069-9384

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We investigated whether the deployment of attention in scenes is better explained by visual salience or by cognitive relevance. In two experiments, participants searched for target objects in scene photographs. The objects appeared in semantically appropriate locations but were not visually salient within their scenes. Search was fast and efficient, with participants much more likely to look to the targets than to the salient regions. This difference was apparent from the first fixation and held regardless of whether participants were familiar with the visual form of the search targets. In the majority of trials, salient regions were not fixated. The critical effects were observed for all 24 participants across the two experiments. We outline a cognitive relevance framework to account for the control of attention and fixation in scenes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: eye-movements,visual-search,guidance,prioritization,perception,salience,objects,memory,shifts,overt
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 16:02
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 04:34
DOI: 10.3758/PBR.16.5.850

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