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Visual search can be facilitated when participants receive a preview of half the distractors (the preview benefit in search; Watson & Humphreys, 1997). Donk and Theeuwes (2001) have argued that preview-based benefits are abolished if the display items are isoluminant to a background. This is consistent with the preview benefit being due to onset capture by the new stimuli. In contrast, the present experiments challenge this suggestion and show that preview benefits can occur under isoluminant conditions, providing that they are given enough time to occur. In Experiment 1, we showed that a preview benefit can occur even with isoluminant stimuli, provided that the old items are previewed for a sufficient time. In Experiment 2, we tested and rejected the idea that this advantage is due to low-level sensory fatigue for the preview stimuli. These findings indicate that the preview effect is not caused solely by onset capture.

Original publication




Journal article


Percept Psychophys

Publication Date





290 - 300


Adolescent, Adult, Attention, Female, Fixation, Ocular, Humans, Light, Male, Reaction Time, Visual Perception