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Michael R. Scheessele; Is perception of a degraded figure resistant to spatial context at short exposure?. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):762. doi: 10.1167/6.6.762.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Introduction: When a degraded figure is displayed with short exposure duration, do surrounding visual display elements provide spatial context that influences perception of the figure?
Method: Each stimulus contained a black figure against white ground. Each figure comprised 4 rectangles. White square distractors degraded a figure, while black square distractors served as noise. There were 3 conditions - figures presented with: all small square distractors, all large square distractors, and a third mixed condition. In the mixed condition, the figure was presented within an imaginary window (larger than the figure yet smaller than the image). The inside of this window contained all small square distractors, while the outside contained all large squares. Total distractor area was constant across conditions. On each trial, a subject's task was to respond whether the figure was displayed in its upright or reflected orientation. Exposure duration was 100 ms. Prior results showed that performance in the all-small distractor case is better than in the all-large distractor case. In the mixed distractor condition, if a subject processes only the part of the image inside the imaginary window, performance should be comparable to that in the all-small distractor condition. Otherwise, performance should be comparable to that in the all-large distractor condition.
Results: There was no significant difference between performance in the mixed distractor and the all-small distractor conditions.
Conclusion: The results suggest that visual display elements beyond a small window have little influence on perception of a degraded figure when exposure duration is brief.
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