The role of prediction in perception: Evidence from interrupted visual search

Stefania Mereu, Jeffrey M. Zacks, Christopher A. Kurby, Alejandro Lleras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies of rapid resumption-an observer's ability to quickly resume a visual search after an interruption-suggest that predictions underlie visual perception. Previous studies showed that when the search display changes unpredictably after the interruption, rapid resumption disappears. This conclusion is at odds with our everyday experience, where the visual system seems to be quite efficient despite continuous changes of the visual scene; however, in the real world, changes can typically be anticipated based on previous knowledge. The present study aimed to evaluate whether changes to the visual display can be incorporated into the perceptual hypotheses, if observers are allowed to anticipate such changes. Results strongly suggest that an interrupted visual search can be rapidly resumed even when information in the display has changed after the interruption, so long as participants not only can anticipate them, but also are aware that such changes might occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1372-1389
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Attention
  • Perception
  • Prediction
  • Rapid resumption
  • Visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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