Two experiments were conducted to determine whether or not separation of bicoloured blocks would affect the efficiency of change detection. One experiment involved a continuous-cycle flicker task and the other involved a one-shot flicker task. There were two types of targets. On colour-change target trials, when the display flickered, the two target colours changed to two different colours. On location-change target trials, when the display flickered, the two target colours remained the same but their locations were exchanged. The results showed that colour-change targets were detected faster and more accurately than location-change targets. Also, when the two parts of the bicoloured block targets were separated rather than adjacent to each other, this increased the speed and accuracy of location-change target detection. On the other hand, part separation decreased the speed and accuracy of colour-change target detection. Detecting colour-change targets only required noticing a colour difference, whereas detecting location-change targets may have required a greater degree of focused attention in order to precisely localize the target's two colours to verify their position change. The results suggest that separating location-change target parts may have facilitated target detection by reducing the likelihood of colour mislocalization. They also suggest that separating colour-change target parts may have inhibited target detection by reducing the overall salience of the colour changes. These findings are consistent with claims about attentional feature binding and show that these processes can be studied using change detection flicker tasks.
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Thesis advisor: Wright, Richard
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