Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1993 Feb;19(1):108-30.

Measuring the effect of attention on simple visual search.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Set-size in visual search may be due to 1 or more of 3 factors: sensory processes such as lateral masking between stimuli, attentional processes limiting the perception of individual stimuli, or attentional processes affecting the decision rules for combining information from multiple stimuli. These possibilities were evaluated in tasks such as searching for a longer line among shorter lines. To evaluate sensory contributions, display set-size effects were compared with cuing conditions that held sensory phenomena constant. Similar effects for the display and cue manipulations suggested that sensory processes contributed little under the conditions of this experiment. To evaluate the contribution of decision processes, the set-size effects were modeled with signal detection theory. In these models, a decision effect alone was sufficient to predict the set-size effects without any attentional limitation due to perception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center