The roles of non-retinotopic motions in visual search

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Abstract

In visual search, a moving target among stationary distracters is detected more rapidly and more efficiently than a static target among moving distracters. Here we examined how this search asymmetry depends on motion signals from three distinct coordinate systems-retinal, relative, and spatiotopic (head/body-centered). Our search display consisted of a target element, distracters elements, and a fixation point tracked by observers. Each element was composed of a spatial carrier grating windowed by a Gaussian envelope, and the motions of carriers, windows, and fixation were manipulated independently and used in various combinations to decouple the respective effects of motion coordinate systems on visual search asymmetry. We found that retinal motion hardly contributes to reaction times and search slopes but that relative and spatiotopic motions contribute to them substantially. Results highlight the important roles of non-retinotopic motions for guiding observer attention in visual search.

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Nakayama, R., Motoyoshi, I., & Sato, T. (2016). The roles of non-retinotopic motions in visual search. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(JUN). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00840

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