Scenes modulate object processing before interacting with memory templates
SourcePsychological Science, 30, 10, (2019), pp. 1497-1509
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
When searching for relevant objects in our environment (say, an apple), we create a memory template (a red sphere), which causes our visual system to favor template-matching visual input (applelike objects) at the expense of template-mismatching visual input (e.g., leaves). Although this principle seems straightforward in a lab setting, it poses a problem in naturalistic viewing: Two objects that have the same size on the retina will differ in real-world size if one is nearby and the other is far away. Using the Ponzo illusion to manipulate perceived size while keeping retinal size constant, we demonstrated across 71 participants that visual objects attract attention when their perceived size matches a memory template, compared with mismatching objects that have the same size on the retina. This shows that memory templates affect visual selection after object representations are modulated by scene context, thus providing a working mechanism for template-based search in naturalistic vision.
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