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Brief Report

Visual Search Asymmetry Due to the Relative Magnitude Represented by Number Symbols

1
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Cognitive Science Program, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
2
College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vision 2021, 5(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/vision5030042
Received: 30 June 2021 / Revised: 7 September 2021 / Accepted: 15 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
In visual search tasks, physically large target stimuli are more easily identified among small distractors than are small targets among large distractors. The present study extends this finding by presenting preliminary evidence of a new search asymmetry: stimuli that symbolically represent larger magnitude are identified more easily among featurally equivalent distractors that represent smaller magnitude. Participants performed a visual search task using line-segment digits representing the numbers 2 and 5, and the numbers 6 and 9, as well as comparable non-numeric control stimuli. In three experiments, we found that search times are faster when the target is a digit that represents a larger magnitude than the distractor, although this pattern was not evident in one additional experiment. The results provide suggestive evidence that the magnitude of a number symbol can affect perceptual comparisons between number symbols, and that the semantic meaning of a target stimulus can systematically affect visual search. View Full-Text
Keywords: visual search; numerical cognition; quantity representation visual search; numerical cognition; quantity representation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Motz, B.A.; Goldstone, R.L.; Busey, T.A.; Prather, R.W. Visual Search Asymmetry Due to the Relative Magnitude Represented by Number Symbols. Vision 2021, 5, 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/vision5030042

AMA Style

Motz BA, Goldstone RL, Busey TA, Prather RW. Visual Search Asymmetry Due to the Relative Magnitude Represented by Number Symbols. Vision. 2021; 5(3):42. https://doi.org/10.3390/vision5030042

Chicago/Turabian Style

Motz, Benjamin A., Robert L. Goldstone, Thomas A. Busey, and Richard W. Prather. 2021. "Visual Search Asymmetry Due to the Relative Magnitude Represented by Number Symbols" Vision 5, no. 3: 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/vision5030042

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