Visual marking: The effects of irrelevant changes on preview search

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


Visual search is facilitated when participants receive a preview of half of the distractors before presentation of the second distractor set (Watson & Humphreys, 1997). In seven experiments, we examined the effects of irrelevant change on this preview benefit. Experiments 1-4-showed that the benefit was not disrupted by the abrupt appearance of irrelevant distractors during the preview period unless they were the same color as the new items. However, blindng off-and-on irrelevant distractors that were present at the start of the preview period disrupted the preview benefit irrespective of their feature overlap with other items (Experiments 5-7). The data are consistent with the inhibition of old stimuli (visual marking) via a location-based template along with an anticipatory feature-based set for new stimuli.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-434
Number of pages17
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005