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We contrasted visual search for targets presented in prototypical views and targets presented in nonprototypical views, when targets were defined by their names and when they were defined by the action that would normally be performed on them. The likelihood of the first fixation falling on the target was increased for prototypical-view targets falling in the lower visual field. When targets were defined by actions, the durations of fixations were reduced for targets in the lower field. The results are consistent with eye movements in search being affected by representations within the dorsal visual stream, where there is strong representation of the lower visual field. These representations are sensitive to the familiarity or the affordance offered by objects in prototypical views, and they are influenced by action-based templates for targets.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychol Sci

Publication Date





42 - 48


Adolescent, Adult, Attention, Discrimination Learning, Eye Movements, Female, Fixation, Ocular, Humans, Male, Orientation, Probability, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Semantics, Visual Fields