Automatic and intentional memory processes in visual search

Walter R. Boot, Jason S. McCarley, Arthur F. Kramer, Matthew S. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research has indicated that saccade target selection during visual search is influenced by scanning history. Already inspected items are less likely to be chosen as saccade targets as long as the number intervening saccades is small. Here, we adapted Jacoby's (1991) process dissociation procedure to assess the role of intentional and automatic processes in saccade target selection. Results indicate a large automatic component biasing participants to move their eyes to unexamined locations. However, an intentional component allowed participants to both reinspect old items and aid their selection of new items. A second experiment examined inhibition of return (IOR) as a candidate for the observed automatic component. IOR was found for items that had been previously examined. It is concluded that both automatic and intentional memory traces are available to guide the eyes during search.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)854-861
Number of pages8
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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