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Article

Get Your Guidance Going: Investigating the Activation of Spatial Priors for Efficient Search in Virtual Reality

1
Scene Grammar Lab, Institute of Psychology, Goethe University, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2
Brain and Cognition Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010044
Received: 6 November 2020 / Revised: 21 December 2020 / Accepted: 22 December 2020 / Published: 4 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Search in (Virtual) Reality)
Repeated search studies are a hallmark in the investigation of the interplay between memory and attention. Due to a usually employed averaging, a substantial decrease in response times occurring between the first and second search through the same search environment is rarely discussed. This search initiation effect is often the most dramatic decrease in search times in a series of sequential searches. The nature of this initial lack of search efficiency has thus far remained unexplored. We tested the hypothesis that the activation of spatial priors leads to this search efficiency profile. Before searching repeatedly through scenes in VR, participants either (1) previewed the scene, (2) saw an interrupted preview, or (3) started searching immediately. The search initiation effect was present in the latter condition but in neither of the preview conditions. Eye movement metrics revealed that the locus of this effect lies in search guidance instead of search initiation or decision time, and was beyond effects of object learning or incidental memory. Our study suggests that upon visual processing of an environment, a process of activating spatial priors to enable orientation is initiated, which takes a toll on search time at first, but once activated it can be used to guide subsequent searches. View Full-Text
Keywords: visual search; repeated search; incidental memory; virtual reality visual search; repeated search; incidental memory; virtual reality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Beitner, J.; Helbing, J.; Draschkow, D.; Võ, M.L.-H. Get Your Guidance Going: Investigating the Activation of Spatial Priors for Efficient Search in Virtual Reality. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 44. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010044

AMA Style

Beitner J, Helbing J, Draschkow D, Võ ML-H. Get Your Guidance Going: Investigating the Activation of Spatial Priors for Efficient Search in Virtual Reality. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(1):44. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010044

Chicago/Turabian Style

Beitner, Julia, Jason Helbing, Dejan Draschkow, and Melissa L.-H. Võ 2021. "Get Your Guidance Going: Investigating the Activation of Spatial Priors for Efficient Search in Virtual Reality" Brain Sciences 11, no. 1: 44. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010044

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