Language Mediated Visual Search: The Role of Display Preview


Visual search efficiency is increased when the search target’s identity is revealed incrementally via language while the display is in view. One view posits that search efficiency is increased because language enhances perceptual processing. We examined an alternative view that increased efficiency is due to delaying the onset of target-seeking eye movements, allowing a preview of the search array. Two eye-tracking experiments tested these alternatives. Observed patterns of eye movements indicated that increased efficiency with concurrent language was not likely due to linguistic enhancement of perceptual processes.

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