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Vision Res. 1999 Sep;39(19):3157-63.

A simple saliency model predicts a number of motion popout phenomena.

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Xerox PARC, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


Visual search for a moving target among stationary distractors is more efficient than searching for a stationary target among moving distractors, and searching for a fast target among slow distractors is more efficient than vice versa. This indicates that the ease of search for a target with a particular motion is not determined simply by the difference between target and distractor velocities. We suggest a simple model for predicting ease of search for a unique motion, based upon a quantitative measure of target saliency. Essentially, search will be easier the more the target motion deviates from the general pattern of velocities in the scene. Our model predicts a number of well-known motion search phenomena, and suggests that one control for target saliency as well as target discriminability when drawing conclusions about visual system mechanisms from search experiments.

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