- Jeremy WolfeJeremy WolfeBrigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Visual search is the process of finding things that you are looking for in a world full of things that you are not looking for. Search tasks are ubiquitous. Many are so routine that we do not think of them as search tasks (e.g., Where is the space bar on the keyboard?). Others are more taxing (Where is the cat hiding?) and/or more important (Is there a tumor in this x-ray?). The need for search arises out of limits on the amount of visual input that can be fully processed at one time. Research in this area seeks to understand how observers find the object or objects of search as well as how, when, and why clearly visible targets can be missed by those observers. To understand how visual searches proceed, it is important to describe the forces that guide attention to different objects and locations in the field and to know what is being seen at locations away from the current focus of attention.
- Cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience