Visual search may be affected by mirror-image symmetry between target and non-targets and also by switching the roles of target and non-target. Do different attention mechanisms underlie these two phenomena? Can a unifying explanation account for both? We conducted two experiments to decompose processing into component parts, and compared results to competing models' predictions. Mirror-image search was unimpaired after target discrimination had been balanced across search conditions-results were consistent with an unlimited-capacity, decision noise model. Search asymmetry affected higher-level processing, however, resulting in capacity limitations that necessitated serial processing. A unifying explanation can account for these two seemingly unrelated phenomena.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems