Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 71–84 | Cite as

Effect of local fluency gradient of objects creates search asymmetry

  • J. Yamashita
  • T. KumadaEmail author


Search asymmetry is a phenomenon in which search efficiency in a visual-search task differs for searching for an X target among Y distractors from search for a Y target among X distractors. Previous research shows that search asymmetry is mainly produced by a difference in the whole signal strength of items or a difference in item familiarity. This study reports that a difference in the local fluency within items also affects search efficiency and generates search asymmetry. Fluency is a value that correlates with the processing efficiency of an item. In particular, five experiments reveal that search efficiency for two part items depends on whether a fluent part is the top or bottom portion of a target (vs. distractor). We argue that this type of search asymmetry implicates the operation of an unknown mechanism that detects local fluency gradient in visual processing.


Eye movements and visual attention Visual search 


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of InformaticsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.NTT Yokosuka Research and Development Center1-1, Hikarinooka, Yokosuka, KanagawaJapan

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