Consequences of Display Changes during Interrupted Visual Search: Rapid Resumption is Target-Specific
Alejandro Lleras, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, USA.
Ronald A. Rensink, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
James T. Enns, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Perception & Psychophysics, 69: 980-993. 2007.   [pdf]


Visual search can be resumed more rapidly following a brief interruption to an old display than it can be initiated on a new display, pointing to a critical role for memory in search (Lleras, Rensink & Enns, 2005). Here we examine how this rapid resumption is affected by changes made to the display during the interruption of search. Rapid resumption was found to depend on the prior presentation of the target, not merely the distractor items (Experiment 1), and was unaffected by the relocation of all distractor items (Experiment 2). Further, whereas changes to response-irrelevant features of the target did not eliminate rapid resumption (Experiment 3), changes in response-relevant features did (Experiment 4). These results point to the target-specificity of rapid resumption and are consistent with reentrant theories of visual awareness.

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