Effect of template complexity on visual search and dual-task performance

Bourke, Patrick A. and Duncan, John (2005) Effect of template complexity on visual search and dual-task performance. Psychological science, 16 (3). pp. 208-213. ISSN 0956-7976

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.00805.x

Abstract

Even dissimilar tasks interfere with one another when done together. We used visual search to examine the underlying cause of such interference. In many models, visual search is a process of biased competition controlled by a template describing the target to be sought. When the display is processed, matching against this template guides attention to the target. We show that increasing template complexity increased interference with a dissimilar concurrent task, story memory. This result was independent of reaction time: Increases in template complexity were associated with no increase in search time in Experiment 1 and with a decrease in search time in Experiment 2. The results show that the dual-task demands of visual search reflect the complexity of the template used in task control, and that this factor can be isolated from other sources of difficulty.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Even dissimilar tasks interfere with one another when done together. We used visual search to examine the underlying cause of such interference. In many models, visual search is a process of biased competition controlled by a template describing the target to be sought. When the display is processed, matching against this template guides attention to the target. We show that increasing template complexity increased interference with a dissimilar concurrent task, story memory. This result was independent of reaction time: Increases in template complexity were associated with no increase in search time in Experiment 1 and with a decrease in search time in Experiment 2. The results show that the dual-task demands of visual search reflect the complexity of the template used in task control, and that this factor can be isolated from other sources of difficulty.
Keywords:Multi-tasking, Visual search, Template complexity, Search time
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:714
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:25 Jun 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:23

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