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Vision Res. 1995 Dec;35(23-24):3401-22.

The function of visual search and memory in sequential looking tasks.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland at College Park 20742-4411, USA.


Eye and head movements were recorded as unrestrained subjects tapped or only looked at nearby targets. Scanning patterns were the same in both tasks: subjects looked at each target before tapping it; visual search had similar speeds and gaze-shift accuracies. Looking, however, took longer and, unlike tapping, benefitted little from practice. Looking speeded up more than tapping when memory load was reduced: memory was more efficient during tapping.


eye movements made when only looking are different from those made when tapping. Visual search functions as a separate process, incorporated into both tasks: it can be used to improve performance when memory load is heavy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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