Visual marking: dissociating effects of new and old set size.

Yuhong Jiang, Marvin M. Chun, Lawrence E. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Visual marking makes it possible to ignore old items during search. In a typical study, old items are previewed 1 s before adding an equal number of new items, one of which is the target. Previewing half of the items reduces the search slope relating response time (RT) to overall set size by half. However, this manipulation sometimes only reduces overall RT but not search slope (Experiment 1). By orthogonally varying the numbers of old and new items, Experiment 2 shows that old and new set sizes interactively affect visual marking. Given a constant new set size, the size of the old set has negligible effect on RT. However, increasing the new set size reduces the preview benefit in overall RT. Experiment 3 shows that this reduction may be restricted to paradigms that use temporal segregation cues. Studies should vary old and new set size orthogonally to avoid missing a visual marking effect where one may be present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002


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