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Top-down and bottom-up aspects of active search in a real-world environment

Foulsham, T and Chapman, C and Nasiopoulos, E and Kingstone, A (2014) 'Top-down and bottom-up aspects of active search in a real-world environment.' Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68 (1). 8 - 19. ISSN 1196-1961

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Abstract

Visual search has been studied intensively in the labouratory, but lab search often differs from search in the real world in many respects. Here, we used a mobile eye tracker to record the gaze of participants engaged in a realistic, active search task. Participants were asked to walk into a mailroom and locate a target mailbox among many similar mailboxes. This procedure allowed control of bottom-up cues (by making the target mailbox more salient; Experiment 1) and top-down instructions (by informing participants about the cue; Experiment 2). The bottom-up salience of the target had no effect on the overall time taken to search for the target, although the salient target was more likely to be fixated and found once it was within the central visual field. Top-down knowledge of target appearance had a larger effect, reducing the need for multiple head and body movements, and meaning that the target was fixated earlier and from further away. Although there remains much to be discovered in complex real-world search, this study demonstrates that principles from visual search in the labouratory influence gaze in natural behaviour, and provides a bridge between these labouratory studies and research examining vision in natural tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 14 May 2014 09:32
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/9359

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