Visual search experiments can only provide useful results when the experimental conditions under which they are performed are strictly controlled. In field trials, one has little or no control over the environmental conditions. In contrast, laboratory experiments provide complete control over all relevant experimental parameters. Therefore, visual search studies are mostly performed in the laboratory using either photographs and videos or computer-simulated virtual environments. However, human performance in artificial laboratory conditions often differs considerably from performance in real-world scenarios. The discrepancies in behavior may be caused by a range of factors that differ between the simulated environment and the real world, such as limitations in resolution, luminance, color reproduction, etc. The relative importance of each of these factors is still largely unknown. More experimental data on search times and detection rates are needed to resolve these issues.
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