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Yi-Chuan Chen, Su-Ling Yeh; Visual token individuation by sound in repetition blindness. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):873. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/5.8.873.
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Repetition blindness (RB; Kanwisher, 1987) is the failure to perceive the second occurrence of a repeated item in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). Such a repetition deficit has also been demonstrated in auditory presentation (repetition deafness, RD; Miller & MacKay, 1994). RB and RD, however, occur within the same modality, and no cross-modal repetition deficit is observed (Soto-Faraco & Spence, 2002). We examined whether two sounds accompanied the two critical items (C1, C2) could reduce the effect of RB. Each trial consisted of 3 Chinese characters and 4 symbols, and the participants were asked to write down the characters shown in RSVP. C1 and C2 were identical (the repeated condition) or different (the unrepeated condition). We first replicated the RB effect for the stimuli we used (Experiment 1): Lower accuracy was found in the repeated condition than that in the unrepeated condition. In Experiment 2–4, two sounds were presented during the RSVP. The first sound was presented simultaneously with the onset of C1, whereas the second sound was presented simultaneously (Experiment 2), 86 ms before (Experiment 3), or 86 ms after (Experiment 4) the onset of C2. Results showed that the added sounds could effectively reduce the effect of RB, except for the condition in which the second sound appeared after C2. These results are best explained by the token individuation failure hypothesis of RB, and suggest that auditory and visual inputs can be integrated into an episodic representation within a time window to facilitate the visual tokenization process.
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