Scene inversion slows the rejection of false positives through saccade exploration during search
The effect of face inversion has been heavily studied, whereas fewer studies have investigated inversion in scenes. We investigated the influence of scene inversion on decisions and contextual guidance of eye movements during visual search. A saccade contingent display termination paradigm was used to assess the temporal dynamics of the effect. Observers searched for a computer mouse in office scenes and performed a yes/no detection task. Observers’ sensitivity (d’) was lower for inverted images relative to upright. Observers’ false positive rate decreased with additional eye movements when they viewed upright images, but remained constant during the first three eye movements when viewing inverted images. The average distance of observers’ eye movements to the target location was greater for inverted than upright scenes. We interpret that inverting an image disrupts the rapid extraction of scene gist, subsequently disrupting guidance in eye movement behavior and slowing the process of rejecting false positives.