Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo

Color and Visual Search, Color Singletons

  • Jasna Martinovic
  • Amanda Hardman
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_82-1



Visual search is a task involving the detection of a unique item within a multi-item display.

Characteristics of the Visual Search Paradigm

In a visual search task, the item that is being searched for is known as the target; other items are known as distractors. Figure 1 presents an example of visual search displays, containing a target item and varying numbers of distractor items. The total number of items in the display is known as set size. Items in a search display can differ along various feature dimensions, for example, color, orientation, or shape. If items in a visual search task vary along a single dimension such as color, the observer may be looking for a target of a specific hue (e.g., red) in a set of different hue distractors. This is known as feature search. In the case of feature search, distractors can be heterogeneous – varying in hue – or homogeneous – all of them the same hue (e.g., blue, as in the example in Fig. 1a). If all the...


Visual Search Visual Search Task Search Display Color Singleton Conjunction Search 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK