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Offsets and prioritizing the selection of new elements in search displays: More evidence for attentional capture in the preview effect

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The preview effect refers to the finding that new elements in a search display are prioritized over old elements. Donk and Theeuwes (2001) suggest that this prioritization is due to bottom-up attentional capture, as new elements that abruptly appear with increases in luminance produce a preview effect whereas new elements that are equiluminant to the background do not. The present study extends this research by examining if new elements that appear from offsets, with and without luminance changes, yield similar findings to onsets. This was indeed the case, as equiluminant offsets did not produce a preview effect but offsets with corresponding increases or decreases in luminance did show the prioritization of new elements over old elements. These findings show that the prioritization of new elements is sensitive to changes in luminance but not to the direction of such changes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada 2: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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