The view from the driver's seat: What good is salience?

Jason McCarley, Kelly Steelman-Allen, William Horrey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    A set of experiments gauged the value of salient and non-salient visual information to drivers' decision making. Stimuli were images of traffic scenes viewed from a drivers' approximate perspective, and the subjects' task was to make stop-or-go driving judgments. Under some experimental conditions (Experiment 1), subjects viewed only the salient information from within each scene. Under other conditions (Experiments 2-3), they viewed only the non-salient information. A signal detection measure of sensitivity served as the primary dependent measure. Data indicated that an above-chance amount of the information needed for accurate judgments was contained within salient image regions and that some information was available only from the salient regions. Other critical information, however, was contained exclusively within non-salient regions. Results suggest that an attentional bias toward visual salience would serve as an economical information-seeking strategy for drivers but by itself would overlook many task-critical cues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-54
    Number of pages8
    JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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