Blobs strengthen repetition but weaken symmetry
SourceVision Research, 43, 9, (2003), pp. 993-1008
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC BO
SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ NICI CO
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
The human visual system is more sensitive to symmetry than to repetition. According to the so-called holographic approach [J. Math. Psychol. 35 (1991) 151; Psychol. Rev. 103 (1996) 429; Psychol. Rev. 106 (1999) 622], however, this perceptual difference between symmetry and repetition depends strongly on spatial scaling. This was tested in three experiments, using symmetry and repetition stimuli that consisted of black and white patches, with patch size as the critical variable. In Experiment 1, patch size was increased in the entire pattern, yielding fewer but larger patches (or blobs). This is known to have hardly any effect on symmetry but, as found now, it does have a strengthening effect on repetition. In the second experiment, we increased patch size in subpatterns only, yielding salient blob areas. This again strengthens repetition but, as double-checked in experiment 3, it can weaken symmetry. These results agree with the holographic approach, and enable an integration of computational, algorithmic, and implementational aspects of vision.
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