WATSON, D.G. and INGLIS, M., 2007. Eye movements and time-based selection: where do the eyes go in preview search. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14 (5), pp. 852-857.
In visual search tasks, presenting one set of distractors (previewing them) before a second set which contains the target, improves search efficiency compared to when all items appear simultaneously. It has been proposed that this preview benefit reflects an attentional bias against old information and towards new information. Here we tested directly whether there was such a bias by measuring eye movement behavior. The main findings were that fixations were biased against, and overall dwell times were shorter on, old stimuli during search in the preview condition. In addition, the initial onset of search was delayed in the preview condition and saccades made during the preview period did not disrupt the ability to prioritize new items. The data demonstrate directly that preview search results in an attentional bias towards new items and against old items.
The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com