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guided-search theory

a two-stage model of visual processing in which initial parallel search mechanisms direct subsequent serial search mechanisms. In the first stage, basic stimuli features are processed simultaneously at all locations across the visual field; then, in the second, limited-capacity serial stage, processing is more complex and restricted to a particular item or location based on information obtained in the previous stage. For example, during a visual search for a red circle among green circles and red squares, the model suggests that a color processor scans for all red items while a shape processor simultaneously scans for all circles, and the combination of these two sources of information then narrows subsequent attentional focus to that item most likely to be the target; if that item proves not to be the target, attention proceeds to the next most promising item. Guided search departs from feature-integration theory and other models that consider second-stage serial resources to be deployed from item to item relatively randomly. [proposed in 1989 by British-born U.S. cognitive psychologist Jeremy M. Wolfe (1955–  ), Kyle R. Cave, and Susan L. Franzel]

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Psychology term of the day

May 26th 2024

metachromatic leukodystrophy

metachromatic leukodystrophy

an autosomal recessive disorder (see recessive allele) characterized by deficiency or absence of the enzyme arylsulfatase A, which results in loss of myelin in the nervous system and accumulation of cerebroside sulfate (a type of myelin lipid) within the white matter of the central nervous system. Loss of motor function and deterioration in mental ability most commonly develop after the 1st year of life (late infantile form), but symptoms may also appear between 3 and 10 years of age (juvenile form) or around age 30 (adult form).