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Jodi Davenport; Rapid scene processing: Can a salient central object influence background perception?. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):237. doi: 10.1167/3.9.237.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
How do we succeed in recognizing scenes in as little as 100 ms? What features of a picture contribute to this rapid processing? Previous research has looked at the effects of scene context on object identification. The results from this work remain inconclusive: in some cases scene context facilitated object perception but in others it did not. Most prior studies used black and white line drawings as stimuli, and objects and backgrounds were repeated numerous times.
We investigated not only how scene context may affect object identification, but also how a single salient object may affect background identification. Our stimuli consisted of color photographs manipulated in Photoshop. Scene backgrounds and single objects were selected independently. Eight uninformed raters named each object and background to ensure reliable naming. Two types of object/background pairings were created by pasting an object into each scene. Scenes were either consistent; the object was typical for that type of scene, or inconsistent; the object was unusual for that type of scene.
Each object and background was seen only once. Whether a given background appeared with a consistent or inconsistent object was counterbalanced between subjects. Items appeared for 107 ms followed by a mask, and the task was to name either the background or the central object. A control group named objects on a neutral background and backgrounds with no foreground object. Results will be discussed in the context of prior research on scene perception.
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