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Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 377–406 | Cite as

We can guide search by a set of colors, but are reluctant to do it

  • Michael J. StroudEmail author
  • Tamaryn Menneer
  • Elina Kaplan
  • Kyle R. Cave
  • Nick Donnelly
Article

Abstract

For some real-world color searches, the target colors are not precisely known, and any item within a range of color values should be attended. Thus, a target representation that captures multiple similar colors would be advantageous. If such a multicolor search is possible, then search for two targets (e.g., Stroud, Menneer, Cave, and Donnelly, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(1): 113-122, 2012) might be guided by a target representation that included the target colors as well as the continuum of colors that fall between the targets within a contiguous region in color space. Results from Stroud, Menneer, Cave, and Donnelly, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(1): 113-122, (2012) suggest otherwise, however. The current set of experiments show that guidance for a set of colors that are all from a single region of color space can be reasonably effective if targets are depicted as specific discrete colors. Specifically, Experiments 13 demonstrate that a search can be guided by four and even eight colors given the appropriate conditions. However, Experiment 5 gives evidence that guidance is sometimes sensitive to how informative the target preview is to search. Experiments 6 and 7 show that a stimulus showing a continuous range of target colors is not translated into a search target representation. Thus, search can be guided by multiple discrete colors that are from a single region in color space, but this approach was not adopted in a search for two targets with intervening distractor colors.

Keywords

Color search Dual-target cost Eye movements Top-down search guidance Search representation Split-target cost 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Keith Rayner, Matthew Davidson, Donald Fisher, and Junha Chang for valuable guidance; to Erica Kreindel, Ross Krebs, Shanila Sattar, Megan Curtis, and Jackie Cheng for help with testing subjects and analyzing the results; and to Olivia Downer and Ruja Kambli for suggestions on the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank Katherine Moore and Jeremy Wolfe for their helpful comments regarding the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Stroud
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tamaryn Menneer
    • 2
  • Elina Kaplan
    • 3
  • Kyle R. Cave
    • 4
  • Nick Donnelly
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMerrimack CollegeNorth AndoverUSA
  2. 2.The European Centre for Environment and Human HealthUniversity of Exeter Medical School, Royal Cornwall HospitalTruroUK
  3. 3.Neuroscience and Behavior ProgramUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyLiverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolUK

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