Incremental Information Processing on Visual Search: The Critical Role of Delivery Rate

Abstract

Recent studies show that visual search is often not well characterized as either a purely parallel or serial search strategy. Subsequently, the literature and computational models have evolved from traditional parallel and serial descriptions to a continuum of search efficiency. It has been demonstrated that search efficiency does not improve with simultaneous delivery of target features in a conjunction-search task. Interestingly, search efficiency does improve when non-linguistic visual delivery of target features appears incrementally and concurrently with the display onset, but not prior to display onset. In our current experiment, we explore the temporal constraints of the facilitatory effect found with concurrent incremental information processing. The results explain that linguistic and non-linguistic mediation of visual search, provided sufficient time to process, is chiefly due to the incrementality of target feature delivery when search has begun. This finding supports an interactive account of visual attention.


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