The Role of Within-Dimension Singleton Priming in Visual Search

Dominique Lamy, Yoav Bar-Anan, Howard E. Egeth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The authors report a newly identified intertrial priming phenomenon, within-dimension singleton priming, by which search for a target that happens to be a singleton on the current trial is faster when the target on the previous trial had also been a singleton on the same dimension rather than a nonsingleton. This effect was replicated in 6 experiments with different procedures, with singletons on various dimensions, when the featural contrast defining the singleton remained the same or changed within a dimension from one trial to the next, and when the target was a singleton on a target-defining dimension or on an irrelevant dimension. These findings cannot be explained by previously demonstrated intertrial repetition effects such as dimension-specific priming or priming of popout. Theoretical implications of the within-dimension singleton priming phenomenon are discussed relative to the dimension-weighting hypothesis, the role of stimulus-driven salience in feature-guided search, and the roles of intertrial priming and goal-directed factors in visual search.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-285
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • intertrial priming
  • singleton search
  • visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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