Auditory target identification in a visual search task
Lochner, Martin Jewell
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Previous research has shown that simultaneous auditory identification of the target in a visual search task can lead to more efficient (i. e. ?flatter?) search functions (Spivey et al. , 2001). Experiment 1 replicates the paradigm of Spivey et al. , providing subjects with auditory identification of the search target either before (<em>Consecutive</em> condition) or simultaneously with (<em>Concurrent</em> condition) the onset of the search task. RT x Set Size slopes in the <em>Concurrent</em> condition are approximately 1/2 as steep as those in the <em>Consecutive</em> condition. Experiment 2 employs a distractor ratio manipulation to test the notion that subjects are using the simultaneous auditory target identification to ?parse? the search set by colour, thus reducing the search set by 1/2. The results of Experiment 2 do not support the notion that subjects are parsing the search set by colour. Experiment 3 addresses the same question as Experiment 2, but obtains the desired distractor ratios by holding the amount of relevantly-coloured items constant while letting overall set size vary. Unlike Experiment 2, Experiment 3 supports the interpretation that subjects are using the auditory target identification to parse the search set.