When re-appearance is old news: Visual marking survives occulsion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


Performance in a visual search task becomes more efficient if half of the distractors are presented before the rest of the stimuli. This "preview benefit" may partly be due to inhibition of the old (previewed) items. The preview effect is abolished, however, if the old items offset briefly before reappearing (D. G. Watson & G. W. Humphreys, 1997). The authors examined whether this offset effect still occurred if the old items undergo occlusion. Results show that a preview benefit was found when the old items were occluded but not otherwise, consistent with the idea of top-down attentional inhibition being applied to the old items. The preview benefit is attenuated, however, by movement of the irrelevant stimuli in the displays.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003