Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Visual search is facilitated when participants receive a preview of half of the distractors before presentation of the second distractor set (Watson & Humphreys, 1997). In seven experiments, we examined the effects of irrelevant change on this preview benefit. Experiments 1-4 showed that the benefit was not disrupted by the abrupt appearance of irrelevant distractors during the preview period unless they were the same color as the new items. However, blinking off-and-on irrelevant distractors that were present at the start of the preview period disrupted the preview benefit irrespective of their feature overlap with other items (Experiments 5-7). The data are consistent with the inhibition of old stimuli (visual marking) via a location-based template along with an anticipatory feature-based set for new stimuli.

Original publication




Journal article


Percept Psychophys

Publication Date





418 - 434


Adolescent, Adult, Blinking, Female, Humans, Male, Reaction Time, Visual Perception