UC Merced Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society Title Visual Similarity Effects in Categorical Search Visual Similarity Effects in Categorical Search

Robert Alexander, Wei Zhang, Gregory Zelinsky, Robert Alexander, Wei Zhang, Gregory Zelinsky, Gregory Zelinsky@stonybrook
2010 Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society   unpublished
The factors affecting search guidance to categorical targets are largely unknown. We asked how visual similarity relationships between random-category distractors and two target classes, teddy bears and butterflies, affects search guidance. Experiment 1 used a web-based task to collect visual similarity rankings between these target classes and random objects, from which we created search displays having either high-similarity distractors, low-similarity distractors, or "mixed" displays with
more » ... d" displays with high, medium, and low-similarity distractors. Subjects made faster manual responses and fixated fewer distractors on low-similarity displays compared to high. On mixed trials, first fixations were more frequent on high-similarity distractors (bear=49%; butterfly=58%) than low-similarity distractors (bear=9%; butterfly=12%). Experiment 2 used the same high/low/mixed conditions, but now these conditions were created using similarity estimates from a computer-vision model that ranked objects in terms of color, texture, and shape similarity. The same patterns were found, suggesting that categorical search is indeed guided by visual similarity.
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