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Categorical information influences conscious perception: An interaction between object-substitution masking and repetition blindness

Goodhew, SC; Greenwood, JA; Edwards, M; (2016) Categorical information influences conscious perception: An interaction between object-substitution masking and repetition blindness. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics , 78 (4) pp. 1186-1202. 10.3758/s13414-016-1073-z. Green open access

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Abstract

The visual system is constantly bombarded with dynamic input. In this context, the creation of enduring object representations presents a particular challenge. We used object-substitution masking (OSM) as a tool to probe these processes. In particular, we examined the effect of target-like stimulus repetitions on OSM. In visual crowding, the presentation of a physically identical stimulus to the target reduces crowding and improves target perception, whereas in spatial repetition blindness, the presentation of a stimulus that belongs to the same category (type) as the target impairs perception. Across two experiments, we found an interaction between spatial repetition blindness and OSM, such that repeating a same-type stimulus as the target increased masking magnitude relative to presentation of a different-type stimulus. These results are discussed in the context of the formation of object files. Moreover, the fact that the inducer only had to belong to the same "type" as the target in order to exacerbate masking, without necessarily being physically identical to the target, has important implications for our understanding of OSM per se. That is, our results show the target is processed to a categorical level in OSM despite effective masking and, strikingly, demonstrate that this category-level content directly influences whether or not the target is perceived, not just performance on another task (as in priming).

Type: Article
Title: Categorical information influences conscious perception: An interaction between object-substitution masking and repetition blindness
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3758/s13414-016-1073-z
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13414-016-1073-z
Language: English
Additional information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13414-016-1073-z.
Keywords: Consciousness, Crowding, Object file, Object individuation, Object perception, Object-substitution masking, Perception, Repetition blindness, Type-token individuation, Visual masking
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476346
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