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Role of facilitatory and inhibitory short-term memory mechanisms for the guidance of visual search [Elektronische Ressource] / vorgelegt von Thomas Geyer

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Role of facilitatory and inhibitory short-term memory mechanisms for the guidance of visual search Inaugural-Dissertation Zur Erlangung der Doktorgrades der Philosophie an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München vorgelegt von Thomas Geyer aus Landsberg a. Lech Referent: Prof. Dr. Hermann Müller Korreferent: PD Dr. Werner X. Schneider Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 02.02.2005 Contents Acknowledgment ___________________________________________________________ 2 Abstract __________________________________________________________________ 3 Chapter 1 - Introduction_____________________________________________________ 5 1.0 Visual search - basic paradigm and implications______________________________ 6 1.1 Theories of visual search__________________________________________________ 8 1.1.1 Feature Integration Theory _________________________________________ 8 1.1.2 Guided Search 2.0 _________________________________________________ 12 1.1.3 Attentional Engagement Theory ____________________________________ 14 1.2 Memory in visual search_________________________________________________ 16 1.2.1 Overview _________________________________________________________ 16 1.2.2 Perceptual learning________________________________________________ 18 1.2.3 Trial-to-trial priming ______________________________________________ 18 1.2.

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Published 01 January 2005
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Role of facilitatory and inhibitory short-term
memory mechanisms for the guidance of visual
search


Inaugural-Dissertation
Zur Erlangung der Doktorgrades der Philosophie
an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
München

vorgelegt von
Thomas Geyer

aus
Landsberg a. Lech







Referent: Prof. Dr. Hermann Müller
Korreferent: PD Dr. Werner X. Schneider
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 02.02.2005














































Contents

Acknowledgment ___________________________________________________________ 2
Abstract __________________________________________________________________ 3
Chapter 1 - Introduction_____________________________________________________ 5
1.0 Visual search - basic paradigm and implications______________________________ 6
1.1 Theories of visual search__________________________________________________ 8
1.1.1 Feature Integration Theory _________________________________________ 8
1.1.2 Guided Search 2.0 _________________________________________________ 12
1.1.3 Attentional Engagement Theory ____________________________________ 14
1.2 Memory in visual search_________________________________________________ 16
1.2.1 Overview _________________________________________________________ 16
1.2.2 Perceptual learning________________________________________________ 18
1.2.3 Trial-to-trial priming ______________________________________________ 18
1.2.4 Within-trial memory ______________________________________________ 23
1.4 Summary of Introduction________________________________________________ 28
1.5 Overview of Thesis _____________________________________________________ 29
1.6 References ____________________________________________________________ 34
Chapter 2 - Cross-trial priming of element positions in pop-out visual search:
Limited in capacity and dependent on stimulus arrangement _____________________ 41
Chapter 3 – Cross-trial priming in visual search for singleton conjunction targets:
Role of repeated target and distractor features _________________________________ 88
Chapter 4 – Probing distractor inhibition in visual search: Visual marking ________ 126
Epilogue ________________________________________________________________ 172
Zusammenfassung________________________________________________________ 178
Curriculum Vitae ________________________________________________________ 192

























Acknowledgment



Acknowledgment 2
Acknowledgment
If you have the time and the technical equipment to test your own experimental ideas, if you
drink a cup of coffee with your colleagues while discussing your empirical results, or if you
have the chance to attend to numerous scientific talks and conferences to improve your
knowledge, these are great gifts. Thanks all the people that have contributed to this that I was
able to write down this thesis.
In particular, I would like to thank Hermann Müller, who had sensitized me for the
topic of visual search and who could answer all my questions concerning this thesis in the last
++
2½ years. I also thank Jo Krummenacher for his insightful comments on the complex C -
language that I was able to program the experiments reported in this thesis. Further, I thank
my colleagues, especially Frank Bauer, Astrid Busch, Klaus Gramann, Carmen Koch, and
Adrian von Mühlenen, for their useful comments on parts of this thesis. Moreover, I would
like to thank my student helper Cornelia Schuler, who conducted nearly all my experiments.
Thanks contribute also to my financial sponsor, the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft”
(DFG).
Most of all I thank my girl friend Silvia for her decision, to go with me to Munich.
Otherwise, I probably would have never worked on this thesis. Finally, I thank my main ideal
and financial sponsors - the two persons that made everything possible - U. & P.

Thank You!!!


























Abstract

Abstract 3
Abstract
In the visual search paradigm, participants’ task is to detect the presence or absence of
a target item, which is presented in an array of distractor items. Usually it is found that
performance is dependent on specific properties of the visual display, for example, the
number of items to be searched or the similarity between display items. However, recent
research has demonstrated that memory mechanisms can also affect search behavior. Further,
it was found that memory mechanisms can, in principle, be either facilitatory or inhibitory,
that is, that the processing of the item locations, features, or search objects themselves can be
improved or impeded, respectively.
The aim of the present thesis was to investigate the effects of (1) facilitatory and
inhibitory memory mechanisms based on the positions of the search elements within the
search display; (2) facilitatory memory mechanisms based on the features of search elements;
and (3) inhibitory memory mechanisms based on the search objects themselves.
To access facilitation and inhibition of locations in a pop-out search task (search for a
color target), a singleton target could be presented on a previous target or distractor location.
Positional facilitation and inhibition was estimated by comparing reaction times to targets
presented at a previous neutral position with reaction times to targets presented at a previous
target (facilitation) or distractor location (inhibition), respectively. It was found that when the
position of the target was repeated in consecutive trials, target detection performance was
expedited (facilitation). Further, when the target appeared on a previous distractor location,
target detection performance was decelerated (inhibition), but this inhibitory effect was shown
to be dependent on the number of distractors presented (i.e., it was only evident for 3-element
displays) indicating the capacity of the memory underlying positional facilitation and
inhibition to be capacity limited to three locations (i.e., one target and two distractor
locations). Moreover, with 3-element displays, facilitation and inhibition of locations were