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The preview search task: Evidence for visual marking

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A series of experiments are reviewed providing evidence for the idea that when new visual objects are prioritized, old objects are inhibited by a top-down controlled suppression mechanism—a process referred to as visual marking. Evidence for the top-down aspect of visual marking is presented, by showing that new object prioritization, as measured in the preview paradigm, depends on task settings and available attentional resources. Evidence for the inhibitory aspect is presented, by showing that selection of new items is impaired when these items share features with the old items. Such negative carryover effects occur within as well as between trials. Alternative accounts and the evidence for them is discussed. It is concluded that the various accounts are not mutually exclusive and that the data is best explained by a combination of mechanisms.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2: University of Birmingham, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2006


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