October 2003
Volume 3, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2003
Forest, Trees and Leaves: Interference Effects in 3-Level Navon Figures
Author Affiliations
  • Charles A Collin
    National Research Council, Canada
  • Mary-Ellen Large
    Dalhousie University, Canada
  • Patricia A McMullen
    National Research Council, Canada
Journal of Vision October 2003, Vol.3, 762. doi:10.1167/3.9.762
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      Charles A Collin, Mary-Ellen Large, Patricia A McMullen; Forest, Trees and Leaves: Interference Effects in 3-Level Navon Figures. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):762. doi: 10.1167/3.9.762.

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Abstract

Navon's seminal findings on global-local attention suggested that global forms dominate perception. One reason why this might be the case is that, in Navon's figures the local elements are surrounded by other similar elements while the global level is alone in space. To test this possibility, we examined interference effects in 3-level hierarchical figures, which consisted of a large configuration made up of medium configurations, which were in turn made up of small figures. In this stimulus, the small elements are local to the medium elements, which are in turn local to the large. Subjects were asked to identify digit or arrow targets at all three hierarchical levels under conditions where the two response-irrelevant levels could be compatible, incompatible or neutral with regards to the correct response. Based on previous research, one would expect the medium elements to dominate the small, due to the greater globality of the former. Contrary to this, we found mutual and equal interference between these two levels under these circumstances. We suggest that this is due to the presence of the large level, which serves to equalize the degree of flanking at the global (medium) and local (small) levels of our stimuli. Previous work has found that flanking elements can have positive or negative effects on response latency. By equating the amount of flanking at the two levels in our 3-level stimuli, we have eliminated global dominance.

Collin, C. A., Large, M.-E., McMullen, P. A.(2003). Forest, Trees and Leaves: Interference Effects in 3-Level Navon Figures [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 3( 9): 762, 762a, http://journalofvision.org/3/9/762/, doi:10.1167/3.9.762. [CrossRef]
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