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Visual marking in moving displays : feature-based inhibition is not necessary

Psychonomic Society
Publication Date
  • Bf Psychology
  • Ecology


Visual marking is a mechanism by which new visual stimuli can gain a selection advantage by the top-down attentional inhibition of stimuli already in the field. Previous work (Olivers, Watson, & Humphreys, 1999) has shown that, for moving stimuli, there must be a unique feature difference between the old items and the new items for marking to occur. The present study shows that this constraint is not necessary if the local spatial relationships between the old moving items remain constant. It is proposed that, with a fixed configuration, the old moving items can be grouped to form a single object. An inhibitory template set up to represent the object then coordinates the application of inhibition to the individual stimuli. Implications for the theory and ecological flexibility of visual marking are discussed.

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