Parallel Versus Serial Processing in Visual Search: Further Evidence From Subadditive Effects of Visual Quality

Howard E Egeth, Dale Dagenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors propose a diagnostic for distinguishing between serial and parallel processing in visual search; it is based on testing for subadditive effects of a within-trial visual quality manipulation on target-absent trials. It was evaluated in 2 experiments wherein parallel and serial processing might be expected on the basis of previous work and was then applied to a more uncertain situation in a third experiment. The diagnostic indicates parallel processing of stimuli that differ from each other on a featural basis (Xs and Os) and canonical letters that differ in line arrangement (Ts and Ls) but serial processing when Ts and Ls are randomly rotated. These results form a coherent pattern that is understandable in terms of the literature on visual search, and thus they suggest that the diagnostic may be a useful addition to the methodology used to distinguish between serial and parallel processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-560
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume17
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1991

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Diagnostics
Visual Search
Experiment
Parallel Processing
Manipulation
Letters
Stimulus
Testing
Methodology
Arrangement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

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