Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 68, Issue 7, pp 1153–1162 | Cite as

Attentional set for axis of symmetry in symmetry-defined visual search

  • Ryosuke NiimiEmail author
  • Kazuhiko Yokosawa
  • Katsumi Watanabe


Olivers and van der Helm (1998) showed that symmetry-defined visual search (for both symmetry and asymmetry) requires selective spatial attention. We hypothesize that an attentional set for the orientation of a symmetry axis also is involved in symmetry-defined visual search. We conducted three symmetry-defined visual search experiments with manipulations of the axis of symmetry orientations, and performance was better when the axis orientations within the search array were uniform, rather than a mixture of two orientations, and the attentional set for the axis orientation could be kept. In addition, search performance when the target was defined by the presence of symmetry was equivalent to that when the target was defined by a difference of symmetry axis orientation. These results suggest that attentional set for axis orientation plays a fundamental role in symmetry-defined visual search.


Visual Search Display Size Axis Orientation Visual Search Task Search Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryosuke Niimi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuhiko Yokosawa
    • 1
  • Katsumi Watanabe
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Japan Science and Technology AgencyKanagawaJapan

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