Guided visual search in individuals with mental retardation

Michael T. Carlin, Sal A. Soraci, Nancy A. Dennis, Christina Strawbridge, Nicholas A. Chechile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The ability of individuals with mental retardation to focus on task-relevant elements of complex visual arrays and increase visual-search efficiency was investigated. Initial assessments of visual-search efficiency were conducted to identify pairs of features for the form and size dimensions for which each participant demonstrated serial search. Subsequently, color was added as a defining feature that could guide search to a subset of the elements in the array. Results indicated that all of the individuals with mental retardation were able to limit attention to the task-relevant items on the guided search task, thus greatly reducing overall target identification times. Results show that individuals with mental retardation can demonstrate sophisticated visual selective attention skills when visual arrays are structured appropriately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal on Mental Retardation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • General Health Professions


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