How does scene context guide search behavior to likely target locations? We had observers search for scene-constrained and scene-unconstrained targets, and found that scene-constrained targets were detected faster and with fewer eye movements. Observers also directed more initial saccades to target-consistent scene regions and devoted more time to searching these regions. However, final checking fixations on target-inconsistent regions were common in target-absent trials, suggesting that scene context does not strictly confine search to likely target locations. We interpret these data as evidence for a rapid top-down biasing of search behavior by scene context to the target-consistent regions of a scene.
Neider, M. B., & Zelinsky, G. J. (2006). Scene context guides eye movements during visual search. Vision Research, 46(5), 614–621. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2005.08.025