Visual search often involves searching the same environment, consecutively, for a number of different targets. Here we investigate the extent to which search benefits from such previous exposure. In the experiment participants searched the same display consecutively for two different targets. Manual responses were faster in the second search than the first search regardless of whether a target was present or absent in the second search. Eye movement recordings demonstrated that the time necessary to find a target letter in the second search depended on when that letter was last fixated in the previous search. This fixation recency effect lasted for about four fixations. In addition, when a target was absent during the second search, participants were less likely to refixate a distractor if it had been recently fixated in the previous search and refixations tended to also occur later on in the search. These results provide evidence for a limited capacity short-term memory store in this kind of visual search.
|Translated title of the contribution||Finding a new target in an old display: Evidence for a memory recency effect in visual search|
|Pages (from-to)||846 - 851|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Psychonomic Bulletin and Review|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2007|