Anchoring visual search in scenes : assessing the role of anchor objects on eye movements during visual search

  • The arrangement of the contents of real-world scenes follows certain spatial rules that allow for extremely efficient visual exploration. What remains underexplored is the role different types of objects hold in a scene. In the current work, we seek to unveil an important building block of scenes—anchor objects. Anchors hold specific spatial predictions regarding the likely position of other objects in an environment. In a series of three eye tracking experiments we tested what role anchor objects occupy during visual search. In all of the experiments, participants searched through scenes for an object that was cued in the beginning of each trial. Critically, in half of the scenes a target relevant anchor was swapped for an irrelevant, albeit semantically consistent, object. We found that relevant anchor objects can guide visual search leading to faster reaction times, less scene coverage, and less time between fixating the anchor and the target. The choice of anchor objects was confirmed through an independent large image database, which allowed us to identify key attributes of anchors. Anchor objects seem to play a unique role in the spatial layout of scenes and need to be considered for understanding the efficiency of visual search in realistic stimuli.

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Author:Sage E. P. Boettcher, Dejan Draschkow, Eric Dienhart, Melissa Lê-Hoa VõORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Journal of vision
Place of publication:Rockville, Md.
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Year of first Publication:2019
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/03/07
Page Number:13
First Page:1
Last Page:13
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0