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Carmela Gottesman; Spatial judgments are facilitated by layout cues but not by recall cues. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):1052. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/7.9.1052.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Do people create spatial layout representations that are distinct from other representations of scenes? Previous research has shown that a preview of a natural scene could facilitate distance judgments even in areas of the scene that were not visible in the preview. Several processes could cause this facilitation. It is possible that the viewer extracted a spatial layout representation from the preview and that this representation was extended beyond the preview's perimeter. However, it was also possible that the preview simply helped viewers anticipate which scene would appear next and retrieve memories of the scene. In order to differentiate between these two processes participants in this study were asked to judge the distances in eight pictures on 576 trials. On each trial the target picture was preceded by one of four possible primes: a full version of the target picture with the to-be-judged objects removed, a section of the target picture that did not show the areas where the to-be-judged objects would be, a verbal label the defined the target picture and would help the viewer predict which picture would appear next, and a control image that provided no information about the upcoming target picture. Reaction time was compared in the four prime conditions. The two pictorial primes facilitated distance judgments compared to the control but the verbal primes did not. Therefore, knowing which picture will appear based on a verbal label was not helpful in this type of task. A prime was only useful if it relayed spatial information needed for activating a mental representation of scene layout.
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