Visual Search for Arbitrary Objects in Real Scenes
Sherman, Ashley M.
Kuzmova, Yoana I.
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CitationWolfe, Jeremy, M. Alvarez, George Rosenholtz, A. Kuzmova, and Ruth Sherman. "Visual Search for Arbitrary Objects in Real Scenes." Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 73, no. 6 (2011): 1650-671.
AbstractHow efficient is visual search in real scenes? In searches for targets among arrays of randomly
placed distractors, efficiency is often indexed by the slope of the reaction time (RT) × Set Size
function. However, it may be impossible to define set size for real scenes. As an approximation,
we hand-labeled 100 indoor scenes and used the number of labeled regions as a surrogate for set
size. In Experiment 1, observers searched for named objects (a chair, bowl, etc.). With set size
defined as the number of labeled regions, search was very efficient (~5 ms/item). When we
controlled for a possible guessing strategy in Experiment 2, slopes increased somewhat (~15 ms/
item), but they were much shallower than search for a random object among other distinctive
objects outside of a scene setting (Exp. 3: ~40 ms/item). In Experiments 4–6, observers searched
repeatedly through the same scene for different objects. Increased familiarity with scenes had
modest effects on RTs, while repetition of target items had large effects (>500 ms). We propose
that visual search in scenes is efficient because scene-specific forms of attentional guidance can
eliminate most regions from the “functional set size” of items that could possibly be the target.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41302437
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