The effect of irrelevant surround on speeded visual discriminations varying in complexity

Wayne P. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To measure the effect of varying stimulus material on visual matching, a three-factor experimental design was employed, with "same"-"different" RT as the main dependent variable. Pairs of sequences of meaningless shapes served as stimuli, varying in discriminability (high or low), complexity (sequence lengths of 1, 2, 5, or 8 shapes), and level of pair difference (identical sequences or sequences with one pair differing). All independent variables significantly affected RT, with (a) high-discriminability stimuli being reacted to faster than low, (b)RT increasing with sequence pair length, and (c)"same"-response RTs interacting with "different"-response RTs. A significant triple-order interaction component implied that, while a single-process self-terminating feature testing model could accommodate data from the low-discriminability condition, the high-discriminability data did not fit this model. The results are taken as support for a dual-process model to account for the data from "same"-"different" RT tasks. epaxtment of

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-324
Number of pages5
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Psychology


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