Visual processing of distractors in an enumeration task
LE3 .A278 2012
Certificate of Honours Conversion
Although distractors have been found to affect performance in visual attention tasks, little research has examined the nature of processing that distracters undergo. The current experiment investigated the extent to which distractors are processed in an enumeration task. Forty-two university students were asked to enumerate 2-5 target circles (no-switch trials) or 2-5 distractor circles (switch trials) in each array. Display time (470 ms or 200 ms) of the array and percentage of switch trials (20% or 70%) were also manipulated. An analysis of accuracy (percent correct) and reaction time revealed that participants were able to process distractors in the array, but the extent of processing was mediated by all manipulations. Participants were also able to change their visual processing strategy depending on the demands of the task. These results were explained using mechanisms from FINST theory and perceptual hypothesis testing theory.
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