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Journal Article

Segmentation of objects from backgrounds in visual search tasks

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83819

Bompas,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Wolfe, J., Oliva A, Todd H, Butcher, S., & Bompas, A. (2002). Segmentation of objects from backgrounds in visual search tasks. Vision Research, 42(38), 2985-3004. doi:doi:10.1016/S0042-6989(02)00388-7.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-DE2C-5
Abstract
In most visual search experiments in the laboratory, objects are presented on an isolated, blank background. In most real world search tasks, however, the background is continuous and can be complex. In six experiments, we examine the ability of the visual system to separate search items from a background. The results support a view in which objects are separated from backgrounds in a single, preattentive step. This is followed by a limited-capacity search process that selects objects that might be targets for further identification. Identity information regarding the object’s status (target or distractor) then accumulates through a limited capacity parallel process. The main effect of background complexity is to slow the accumulation of information in this later recognition stage. It may be that recognition is slowed because background noise causes the preattentive segmentation stage to deliver less effectively segmented objects to later stages. Only when backgrounds become nearly identical to the search ob jects does the background have the effect of slowing item-by-item selection.