Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Kyle R. Cave
Visual search consists of locating a known target amongst a field of distractors. Often times, observers must search for more than one object at once. Eye movements were monitored in a series of visual search experiments examining search efficiency and how color is represented in order to guide search for multiple targets. The results demonstrated that observers were very color selective when searching for a single color. However, when searching for two colors at once, the degree of similarity between the two target colors had varying effects on fixation patterns. Search for two very similar colors was almost as efficient as search for a single color. As this similarity between the targets deceased, search efficiency suffered, resulting in more fixations on objects dissimilar to both targets. In terms of representation, the results suggest that the guiding template or templates prevailed throughout search, and were relatively unaffected by the objects encountered. Fixation patterns revealed that two similarly colored objects may be represented as a single, unitary range containing the target colors as well as the colors in between in color space. As the degree of similarity between the targets decreased, the two targets were more likely to be represented as discrete separate templates.
Stroud, Michael John, "Why is it Difficult to Search for Two Colors at Once? How Eye Movements Can Reveal the Nature of Representations During Multi-target Visual Search" (2010). Open Access Dissertations. 231.