Zehetleitner M, Müller H J, Wolfe J M, 2009, "Accumulation of salience: Modeling the effects of target distractor similarity in visual search" Perception 38 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 19
Accumulation of salience: Modeling the effects of target distractor similarity in visual search
M Zehetleitner, H J Müller, J M Wolfe
When a target differs significantly from homogeneous distractors, search is very efficient. Search gets harder as target-distractor (TD) similarity increases. Several models such as feature integration theory, guided search, or visual similarity theory predict that the effect of increasing TD similarity will be manifest as a decrease in search efficiency; an increase in RT × set size slopes. Here, we present data demonstrating that, as TD similarity increases, the intercepts of RT × setsize functions increase with no increase in slope until TD similarity is further increased. Additionally, search performance (slope, intercept, and miss rate) for targets of one level of TD similarity depends on the context in which this search is carried out, that is, whether the majority of other trials are of high or low TD similarity. These patterns of responses to TD similarity can be modeled using a salience map that accumulates salience signals with one leaky accumulator for each item in the display with drift rates depending on TD similarity. This model can account for the range of behavior with a fixed set of stimulus parameters constant, changing only observer-based parameters related to search strategy.
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