Influences of luminance contrast and ambient lighting on visual context learning and retrieval

Xuelian ZANG, Lingyun HUANG, Xiuna ZHU, Hermann J. MÜLLER, Zhuanghua SHI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Invariant spatial context can guide attention and facilitate visual search, an effect referred to as “contextual cueing.” Most previous studies on contextual cueing were conducted under conditions of photopic vision and high search item to background luminance contrast, leaving open the question whether the learning and/or retrieval of context cues depends on luminance contrast and ambient lighting. Given this, we conducted three experiments (each contains two subexperiments) to compare contextual cueing under different combinations of luminance contrast (high/low) and ambient lighting (photopic/mesopic). With high-contrast displays, we found robust contextual cueing in both photopic and mesopic environments, but the acquired contextual cueing could not be transferred when the display contrast changed from high to low in the photopic environment. By contrast, with low-contrast displays, contextual facilitation manifested only in mesopic vision, and the acquired cues remained effective following a switch to high-contrast displays. This pattern suggests that, with low display contrast, contextual cueing benefited from a more global search mode, aided by the activation of the peripheral rod system in mesopic vision, but was impeded by a more local, fovea-centered search mode in photopic vision. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4007-4024
JournalAttention, Perception, & Psychophysics
Volume82
Early online dateSept 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Citation

Zang, X., Huang, L., Zhu, X., Müller, H. J., & Shi, Z. (2020). Influences of luminance contrast and ambient lighting on visual context learning and retrieval. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 82, 4007-4024. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-020-02106-y

Keywords

  • Contextual cueing
  • Photopic vision
  • Mesopic vision
  • Contextual learning and retrieval

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