Hypothesis and assumptions
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This experiment will investigate the fundamental claim of the index theory: the claim that the visual system has the means to make a set of non-contiguous locations in the world directly accessible for further visual processing. Further, the theory claims that these locations are maintained across eye movements.
The question we asked here is: will the system maintain the assignment of indexes across the saccade?
There are 2 basic predictions:
1. The system will NOT maintain indices across the saccade. Making an eye movement will cause the indexes to disengage from the world locations of the late-onset cues. If this is the case, we should see the 3 and 4 subset feature search reaction times to be as long as a conjunction search over the entire display. In other words, there should be no evidence that a visual search was constrained to 3 or 4 locations after the saccade.
2. Index binding will survive the saccade (i.e., the indexes will stay attached to the world locations of the abrupt, late-onset X's. Thus we should replicate the pattern of data reported by Burkell & Pylyshyn.