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Ashleigh M. Richard, Andrew Hollingworth, Steven J. Luck; Testing an object file theory of object correspondence across saccades. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):486. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.486.
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How does the visual system establish correspondence between objects visible on separate fixations? Object file theory (Kahneman et al., 1992) proposes that objects are represented as a spatial index, with object property information bound to the index. In this view, object correspondence across disruptions such as saccades is established by position consistency (spatiotemporal continuity) without reference to an object's visual properties. However, Hollingworth et al. (submitted) recently found that object correspondence across saccades can be driven by memory for an object's shape or color. In the present study, we placed position and object property information at odds to investigate the primary determinant of object correspondence across saccades. The method was a gaze correction paradigm. Participants generated a saccade to one of two objects that differed in shape or color. On some trials, the stimulus array shifted during the saccade, causing the eyes to land between the two objects. Participants executed a corrective saccade either to the object in the appropriate relative spatial position or to the object with the appropriate surface property. On a critical subset of trials, the two objects switched positions, placing correction based on position and correction based on surface properties at odds. Participants were faster and more accurate to correct gaze based on position. However, inconsistent surface properties slowed correction latency. These results provide support for a weak version of object file theory, in which object correspondence across saccades is primarily governed by spatial continuity, but object property information is also functional in establishing correspondence.
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