Landmarks help guide attention during visual search

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using a novel visual search paradigm McCarley et al. (2003) concluded that the oculomotor system keeps a history of 3-4 previously attended objects. However, their displays were visually sparse, denying participants structural information which might be used during normal search. This might have underestimated memory capacity. To examine this possibility, we included landmarks in the same search paradigm. Previously examined items were re-examined less frequently when landmarks were present compared to when they were absent. Results indicate that objects in the environment that share no features with search items are used as external support to aid memory in guiding visual search.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-510
Number of pages14
JournalSpatial Vision
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Nov 3 2004


  • Attention
  • Visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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  • Cite this

    Peterson, M. S., Boot, W. R., Kramer, A. F., & McCarley, J. S. (2004). Landmarks help guide attention during visual search. Spatial Vision, 17(4-5), 497-510.