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Article

Strategies of visual search for changes in complex scenes

Journal of Russian and East European Psychology. 2011. Vol. 49. No. 5. P. 10-29.

Previous studies revealed the astonishing inability of observers to notice visual change if scene perception is briefly interrupted for some reason. This phenomenon is referred to as change blindness. The present study is aimed to clarify how observers look for visual changes, what strategies they use, and how these strategies affect change blindness. In Experiment 1 participants performed a free search for change in standard flicker paradigm (Rensink, O’Regan, and Clark, 1997). Results of experiment led to some possible classifications of search strategies. Distinction between location-based and object-based strategies is the most essential one. In Experiment 2, these two strategies were isolated by manipulation with special cues at three levels of difficulty of the change detection task. The object-based strategy had been found to be most efficient one and the location-based strategy was helpful in difficult tasks. On the other hand, the location-based strategy was even less effective than free search for visual changes in the accurate identification of changes.