Early and late selection: Visual letter confusions in a bar-probe task

A. H.C. van der Heijden*, M. de Loor, R. Schreuder, M. Hagenzieker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study is concerned with the early vs late selection issue in visual information processing. Early selection theories assert that selective attention operates in a stage containing rapidly decaying precategorical visual information. Late selection theories argue that selective attention operates in a stage containing abstract categorical information. A prediction following from the assumptions of early selection theories, but not from the assumptions of late selection theories, is that in partial-report bar-probe tasks the function relating the number of visual confusions, resulting from misidentification of the target, to probe delays has to exhibit an inverted-U shape. An experiment is reported in which this prediction was tested. A reliable inverted-U function was obtained. The total pattern of results supports the early selection theories for small probe delays, but for the larger probe delays adequate late selection has to be postulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-89
Number of pages15
JournalActa Psychologica
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

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