New reflections on visual search interitem symmetry matters!

Wieske Van Zoest*, Barry Giesbrecht, James T. Enns, Alan Kingstone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A 90° rotation of a display can turn a relatively easy visual search into a more difficult one. A series of experiments examined the possible causes of this effect, including differences in overall item shape and response mapping (Experiment 1), the interpretation of scene lighting (Experiment 2), the axis of internal symmetry of the search items (Experiment 3), and the axes of interitem symmetry between target and distractor items (Experiment 4). Only the elimination of differences in interitem mirror symmetry resulted in equal search efficiency in the upright and rotated displays. This finding is strong support for the view that visual search is guided by an analysis that considers interitem relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-542
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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