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Justin D.N. Ruppel, Stephen M. Emrich, Susanne Ferber; Removing non-accidental properties increases the duration of object awareness. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):929. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/7.9.929.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
While countless experiments have investigated the properties and conditions that affect initial object recognition, little is known about how the awareness of objects is maintained after successful recognition. Substantial evidence demonstrates that vertices, defined as points of cotermination, are crucial properties for object recognition. Removing the vertices or “non-accidental properties” of objects impairs recognition speed and accuracy more than when the vertices are left intact. Here, we tested whether removing vertices from fragmented objects also impaired the maintenance of object awareness using a shape-from-motion (SFM) paradigm. Fragmented line-drawings of objects were rotated relative to a background of randomly-oriented lines. After the motion is stopped, the percept of the object persists briefly. Participants made a response to indicate when they were able to identify the object, as well as when their subjective awareness for the object had disappeared. Object vertices were either removed or left intact. We confirmed earlier studies demonstrating that objects without vertices take longer to recognize. Interestingly, these same objects are nonetheless maintained in awareness for longer. The results suggest the mechanisms underlying object recognition are different from those subserving the maintenance of object awareness.
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