September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
Consistency effects in the perception of briefly viewed scenes
Author Affiliations
  • Jodi L. Davenport
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 67. doi:10.1167/5.8.67
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      Jodi L. Davenport; Consistency effects in the perception of briefly viewed scenes. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):67. doi: 10.1167/5.8.67.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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How does knowledge about which objects and settings tend to co-occur influence the perception of briefly presented scenes? Prior research (Davenport & Potter, 2004) found that single foreground objects and their settings are reported more accurately when the object and background are mutually consistent rather than inconsistent. In four experiments, consistency effects between objects and backgrounds and between two foreground objects were examined when one or two foreground objects appeared in scenes. Participants saw each picture once for 80 ms followed by a mask and typed their response. Three questions were addressed:

  1. Would an additional foreground object modulate the consistency effect? Scenes contained either a single object or two objects from the same setting. In Experiment 1, objects were reported more accurately when the background was consistent, p < .001. In Experiment 2, backgrounds were reported more accurately when they appeared with consistent foreground objects, p < .001. The number of objects did not interact or produce a main effect in either experiment.

  2. Would having to report two objects and the setting reduce object-background consistency effects? In Experiment 3, two objects were always present and both objects and the background were reported. A strong main effect of consistency was present p < .001, and this effect was greater for backgrounds than for objects, p < .001.

  3. Do objects in scenes influence each other? In Experiment 4, two foreground objects were either related (both from the same scene) or unrelated (each from a different scene). Objects were reported more accurately in consistent settings, p <.005, and when presented with a related object, regardless of the background p < .05. These two consistency effects were independent.

The results support an interactive processing account of scene perception. With an 80 ms glimpse of a picture, consistency information about objects and settings is available and influences report accuracy.

Davenport, J. L. (2005). Consistency effects in the perception of briefly viewed scenes [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):67, 67a,, doi:10.1167/5.8.67. [CrossRef]

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