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Termination of a visual search with large display size effects

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

The ability to locate an object in the visual field is a collaboration of at least three intermingled processes: scanning multiple locations, recognizing the object sought (the target), and ending the search in cases when the target is not found. In this paper, we focus on the termination rule. Using distribution analyses, it is possible to assess the probability of termination conditional on the number of locations examined. The results show that on some trials without target, the participants carried out more comparisons than there are objects in the display; in other conditions, they carried out fewer comparisons than objects. Because there were very few errors, the premature stops were not pure guesses. We present models to account for these findings. The distributions of terminations help determine the slopes of the functions relating response time to set size.


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