Contextual cueing in moving scenes

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University of Alabama Libraries

There are a number of different processes involved while performing a visual search task. One likely process involves learning spatial regularities in our surroundings. Contextual cueing reflects a form of associative learning between a target location and its surrounding environmental context through repeated exposure to consistent spatial orientation. Research on the phenomenon as it applies to a real world search has been limited by several choices in research methodology. The current study addresses this problem by incorporating dynamic, multicolored, and complex videos that allow for more accurate conclusions about the realistic applications of contextual cueing effects to be drawn. Participants (N =62) completed a search task while viewing videos taken from a virtual environment. Videos were either experienced once or multiple times throughout the experiment. Results showed that participants were able to locate a target object within the repeated videos faster than in novel videos. It appears that target-context associations can be formed under dynamic conditions using realistic stimuli. Implications for wayfinding, along with underlying cognitive processes, are discussed.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Cognitive psychology