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Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 361–367 | Cite as

Configurational effects in visual information processing

  • William P. Banks
  • William Prinzmetal
Article

Abstract

These experiments show that the perceptual organization of a multielement display affects both the speed and accuracy with which a target letter in it is detected. The first two experiments show that a target is detected more poorly if it is arranged in good form (a perceptual Gestalt) with noise elements than if it is not. This effect is not confounded with target-noise proximity or display size, and it holds for stimuli terminated by the subject’s response as well as for stimuli of very brief duration. Increasing the number of noise elements can actually improve performance if the added noise elements increase the degree to which the noise elements form perceptual groups separately from the target. A third experiment tries out a new method for scaling the perceptual structure of an array, and it shows that the main features of the first two experiments can be predicted from the scaled perceptual structure of the arrays they used.

Keywords

Visual Search Stimulus Duration Perceptual Organization Perceptual Grouping Noise Element 
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. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • William P. Banks
    • 1
  • William Prinzmetal
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentPomona CollegeClaremont
  2. 2.Claremont Graduate SchoolClaremont

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