Covert visual search: a comparison of performance by humans and macaques (Macaca mulatta).
The duration of the visual search by human participants for visual features is independent of the number of targets being viewed. In contrast, search for targets formed by conjunction of features is characterized by reaction times that increase as a linear function of the number of items viewed, suggesting that the target detection requires scrutiny of the search array by focal attention. Macaque (Macaca mulatta) and human performance on feature and conjunction search tasks was compared by using color or motion, or by conjunctions of color and motion. Like human participants, monkeys exhibited a dichotomy between feature and conjunction search performance. This finding suggests that humans and macaques engage similar brain mechanisms for representation of feature and conjunction targets. This behavioral paradigm can thus be used in neurophysiological experiments directed at the mechanisms of feature integration and target selection.