Differential effects of visual uncertainty and contextual guidance on perceptual decisions: Evidence from eye and mouse tracking in visual search

Visual search can be seen as a decision-making process that aims to assess whether a target is present or absent from a scene. In this perspective, eye movements collect evidence related to target detection and verification to guide the decision. We investigated whether, in real-world scenes, target detection and verification are differentially recruited in the decision-making process in the presence of prior information (expectations about target location) and perceptual uncertainty (noise). We used a mouse-tracking methodology with which mouse trajectories unveil components of decision-making and eye-tracking measures reflect target detection and verification. Indoor scenes were presented, including a target in usual or unusual locations or no target, and were degraded with additive noise (or no noise). Participants had to respond to the target's presence or absence. Degrading the scene delayed the decision due to increased verification times and reduced mouse velocity. Targets in unusual locations delayed the decision and deviated mouse trajectories toward the target-absent response. Detection times played a major role in these effects. Thus, target detection and verification processes influence decision-making by integrating the available sources of information differently and lead to an accumulation of evidence toward both the presence of a target and its absence.

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Quetard, Boris
Quinton, Jean Charles
Mermillod, Martial
Barca, Laura
Pezzulo, Giovanni
Colomb, Michele
Izaute, Marie
Scholar One, Inc.,, Charlottesville, VA , Stati Uniti d'America
Journal of vision (Charlottesville, Va.) 16 (2016). doi:10.1167/16.11.28
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Quetard, Boris; Quinton, Jean Charles; Mermillod, Martial; Barca, Laura; Pezzulo, Giovanni; Colomb, Michele; Izaute, Marie/titolo:Differential effects of visual uncertainty and contextual guidance on perceptual decisions: Eviden
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Ritratto di Laura Barca
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