Title

Searching for One or Many Targets: Effects of Extended Experience on the Runs Advantage

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1998

DOI

10.1037/0097-7403.24.1.98

Version

Citation

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes

Keywords

Single vs mixed target trial sequences & extended experience, Runs advantage, Female pigeons

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

Pigeons searched for any of several targets in experiments designed to explore attentional priming or search-image formation. Three experiments assessed the runs advantage, seen in improved search efficiency during single-target trial sequences compared with search efficiency during mixed-target sequences. Experiment 1 varied the number of items in the search display and the target set. Well-practiced pigeons showed the runs advantage only for a display size of 36 and a target set of 8. Experiments 2 and 3 followed the runs effect over training. For a target set of 4, the runs advantage was present initially but diminished with practice. For a target set of 12, the runs advantage persisted. The data suggest that learning permits a shift from controlled to automatic processing of memory, but constrains the number of items that can be addressed in parallel.