Visual search is a type of perceptual task requiring attention that typically involves an active scan of the visual environment for a particular object or feature (the target) among other objects or features (the distractors). Visual search can take place either with or without eye movements. The ability to consciously locate an object (target) amongst a complex array of stimuli (distractors) has been extensively studied over the past 40 years.
Practical examples of this can be seen in everyday life such as picking out a product on a supermarket shelf, or trying to find your friend in a large crowd of people such as Where's Waldo:
Research suggests that eye movements move independently of attention and therefore is not a reliable method to examine the role of attention. Much of the previous literature on visual search uses reaction time in order to measure the time taken to detect the target amongst its distractors.
Below is a demonstration of the Visual Search experiment created by Cognilab:
- Click HERE to download the template for the IAT
- Follow these instructions to import templates to your Cognilab account
- For more templates, tutorials and guides, visit our Resource Centre