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Segmentation of objects from backgrounds in visual search tasks

Wolfe, Jeremy M., Oliva, Aude, Horowitz, Todd S., Butcher, Serena J. and Bompas, Aline Elisabeth Dominique 2002. Segmentation of objects from backgrounds in visual search tasks. Vision Research 42 (28) , pp. 2985-3004. 10.1016/S0042-6989(02)00388-7

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Abstract

In most visual search experiments in the laboratory, objects are presented on an isolated, blank background. In most real world search tasks, however, the background is continuous and can be complex. In six experiments, we examine the ability of the visual system to separate search items from a background. The results support a view in which objects are separated from backgrounds in a single, preattentive step. This is followed by a limited-capacity search process that selects objects that might be targets for further identification. Identity information regarding the object’s status (target or distractor) then accumulates through a limited capacity parallel process. The main effect of background complexity is to slow the accumulation of information in this later recognition stage. It may be that recognition is slowed because background noise causes the preattentive segmentation stage to deliver less effectively segmented objects to later stages. Only when backgrounds become nearly identical to the search objects does the background have the effect of slowing item-by-item selection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0042-6989
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:08
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/33418

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