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Melissa L.-H. Võ, John M. Henderson; Does gravity matter? Effects of semantic and syntactic inconsistencies on the allocation of attention during scene perception. Journal of Vision 2009;9(3):24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.3.24.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It has been shown that attention and eye movements during scene perception are preferentially allocated to semantically inconsistent objects compared to their consistent controls. However, there has been a dispute over how early during scene viewing such inconsistencies are detected. In the study presented here, we introduced syntactic object–scene inconsistencies (i.e., floating objects) in addition to semantic inconsistencies to investigate the degree to which they attract attention during scene viewing. In Experiment 1 participants viewed scenes in preparation for a subsequent memory task, while in Experiment 2 participants were instructed to search for target objects. In neither experiment were we able to find evidence for extrafoveal detection of either type of inconsistency. However, upon fixation both semantically and syntactically inconsistent objects led to increased object processing as seen in elevated gaze durations and number of fixations. Interestingly, the semantic inconsistency effect was diminished for floating objects, which suggests an interaction of semantic and syntactic scene processing. This study is the first to provide evidence for the influence of syntactic in addition to semantic object–scene inconsistencies on eye movement behavior during real-world scene viewing.
Note: * p < .05; ** p < .01.
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