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Five experiments investigated the types of changes that disrupt the preview effect--the benefit gained in difficult search tasks from presenting some distractors earlier in time. A shape change with or without an overall luminance change at the location of an old item was found to disrupt the preview effect, whereas an equivalent luminance change alone or an isoluminant color change was not disruptive. Results suggest that (a) relatively low-level visual changes may not be sufficient to abolish the benefit, (b) the benefit most likely occurs through inhibition applied to locations within a location master map, and (c) inhibition need not be applied to surface features of objects.

Original publication




Journal article


J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform

Publication Date





379 - 395


Adolescent, Adult, Attention, Contrast Sensitivity, Female, Fixation, Ocular, Form Perception, Humans, Inhibition, Psychological, Lighting, Male, Psychophysics, Reaction Time, Visual Perception