Object recognition and detection: Potential implications from vision science for wilderness searching

Stephen McClanahan PhD WEMT From Search and Rescue Ohio and Mountaineer Area Rescue Group, USA Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference

Email mcclanahan.sf@gmail.com



Field searching relies heavily on human vision and the ability to recognize objects that are out of place in their environment. Searchers seek to continually improve their ability to detect clues. This paper provides an overview of findings from vision science investigations as they relate to the ability to detect and recognize objects. Vision research provides a solid basis for the utilization of the searcher’s cube and the walk/stop/search cadence. It provides insights into the psychological factors that inhibit detection of low prevalence clues and means to reduce these barriers. Lastly, investigations from vision science illustrate the key elements needed in training to improve visual search outcomes.

KEY WORDS: wilderness search and rescue, vision, visual search, foveal field, low prevalence effect

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