Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Visual Search

  • Christa OchoaEmail author
  • Adam J. Woods
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9135

In general, visual search refers to the act of visually scanning an environment for a target item among distractors (Duncan and Humphreys 1989). Finding a favorite piece of clothing inside a closet full of clothes is an everyday example of a task that might require visual search. Visual search can be classified into two main types: feature search and conjunction search (e.g., Duncan and Humphreys 1989; Treisman and Gelade 1980; Trick and Enns 1998).

In feature search, a distinctive attribute of the target item is identified and used to locate the item from among the distractors (Duncan and Humphreys 1989). For example, a task involving locating a star-shaped set from a series of squares would be utilizing feature search, with the distinctive attribute of shape causing the target item (the star) to stand out from the distractors (the squares). This “pop-out” effect observed in feature search is thought to be linked to parallel processing of the targets and distractors (Duncan and...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory, Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, College of Public Health and Health ProfessionsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory, McKnight Brain InstituteUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA