Visual search and visual discomfort

O'Hare, Louise, Clarke, Alasdair D. and Hibbard, Paul B. (2013) Visual search and visual discomfort. Perception, 42 . pp. 1-15. ISSN 0301-0066

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Certain visual stimuli evoke perceptions of discomfort in non-clinical populations. We
investigated the impact of stimuli previously judged as uncomfortable by non-clinical populations
on a visual search task. One stimulus that has been shown to affect discomfort judgments is noise that
has been filtered to have particular statistical properties (Juricevic et al, 2010 Perception 39 884–899).
A second type of stimulus associated with visual discomfort is striped patterns (Wilkins et al, 1984 Brain
107 989–1017). These stimuli were used as backgrounds in a visual search task, to determine their influence
on search performance. Results showed that, while striped backgrounds did have an impact on visual
search performance, this depended on the similarity between the target and background in orientation
and spatial frequency. We found no evidence for a more generalised effect of discomfort on performance.

Keywords:visual search, visual discomfort, 1/f noise
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:8869
Deposited On:11 Apr 2013 18:38

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