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Bucher, Leandra; Bublak, Peter; Kerkhoff, Georg; Geyer, Thomas; Müller, Hermann; Finke, Kathrin (2018): Spatial remapping in visual search: Remapping cues are provided at attended and ignored locations. In: Acta Psychologica, Vol. 190: pp. 103-115
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Abstract

We experience the world as stable and continuous, despite the fact that visual input is overwritten on the retina with each new ocular fixation. Spatial remapping is the process that integrates selected visual information into successive (continuous) representations of our spatial environment, thereby allowing us to keep track of objects, and experience the world as stable, despite frequent eye (re-)fixations. The present paper investigates spatial remapping in the context of visual pop-out search. Within standard instances of the pop-out paradigm, reactions to stimuli at previously attended locations are facilitated (faster and more accurate), and reactions to stimuli at previously ignored locations are inhibited (slower and less accurate). The mechanisms that support facilitation at previously attended locations, and inhibition at previously ignored locations, serve to enhance the efficiency of visual search. It is thus natural to expect that information about which locations were previously attended to or ignored is stored and remapped as a concomitant to successive representations of the spatial environment. Using variants of the pop-out paradigm, we corroborate this expectation, and show that information concerning the prior status of locations, as attended to or ignored, is remapped following attention shifts, with some degradation of information concerning ignored locations.