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Special Collection

Theoretical Review with Commentaries: Visual Selection

Collection launched: 14 May 2018

Selective attention is generally believed to be influenced by our current goals. For example, going to the market with the express mission of finding cauliflower to roast for dinner will facilitate your visual search for cauliflower. Selective attention is also believed to be influenced by bottom-up factors like perceptual salience, for instance, focusing on a bright red pepper in a field of green peppers, even though peppers are not on your shopping list. It may also be that your recent searches, for instance shopping for fennel yesterday, bias which elements of the scene capture your attention. Theeuwes and colleagues call this influence selection history. This special collection features a theoretical review by Theeuwes situating selection history within the attention landscape, defining the processes proposed to influence visual selection and reconsidering how well-known effects on attention may arise from selection history biases. The special collection includes critical commentaries from experts on selective attention and a reply from Theeuwes.