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Visual search in ecological and non-ecological displays: Evidence for a non-monotonic effect of complexity on performance

Chassy, Philippe and Gobet, Fernand (2013) Visual search in ecological and non-ecological displays: Evidence for a non-monotonic effect of complexity on performance. PLOS ONE, 8 (1). e53420. ISSN 1932-6203

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Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053420

Abstract

Considerable research has been carried out on visual search, with single or multiple targets. However, most studies have used artificial stimuli with low ecological validity. In addition, little is known about the effects of target complexity and expertise in visual search. Here, we investigate visual search in three conditions of complexity (detecting a king, detecting a check, and detecting a checkmate) with chess players of two levels of expertise (novices and club players). Results show that the influence of target complexity depends on level of structure of the visual display. Different functional relationships were found between artificial (random chess positions) and ecologically valid (game positions) stimuli: With artificial, but not with ecologically valid stimuli, a “pop out” effect was present when a target was visually more complex than distractors but could be captured by a memory chunk. This suggests that caution should be exercised when generalising from experiments using artificial stimuli with low ecological validity to real-life stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2019 16:09
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 12:46
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102349

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