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Retrospective and Prospective Influences on Performance During a Visuomotor Search Task


Thornton,  IM
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Thornton, I. (2000). Retrospective and Prospective Influences on Performance During a Visuomotor Search Task. Poster presented at 41st Annual Meeting of The Psychonomic Society, New Orleans, LA, USA.

We used a simple visuomotor task to explore retrospective and prospective aspects of search. Observers sequentially clicked through a series of target items (e.g., letters A–J), randomly distributed within a 12º 12° viewing area. In Experiment 1, all target items were initially visible and we varied whether they remained visible or vanished after selection. Reaction time decreases, as a function of target position, were identical in both conditions. In Experiment 2, we isolated the retrospective component. Here, only one target item was initially present while the remaining locations contained distractor items. As each target was selected, the next target appeared, replacing one of the distractor items. Again, reaction time decreased roughly linearly in both vanish and remain conditions, however, the efficiency of remain trials was substantially reduced compared with that of vanish trials. These findings suggest that both what you did and what you intend to do can influence search performance.