August 2010
Volume 10, Issue 7
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2010
Temporal Dynamics in Convexity Context Effects
Author Affiliations
  • Elizabeth Salvagio
    The University of Arizona
  • Mary A. Peterson
    The University of Arizona
Journal of Vision August 2010, Vol.10, 1214. doi:
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      Elizabeth Salvagio, Mary A. Peterson; Temporal Dynamics in Convexity Context Effects. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):1214.

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

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Convex regions are more likely to appear as objects (figures) than abutting concave regions, but context modulates this likelihood: In 100-ms displays, convex regions are increasingly likely to be seen as figures as the number of alternating convex and concave regions increases from 2 to 8 (57% - 89%; Peterson & Salvagio, 2008). These convexity-context effects occur only when the concave regions are uniform in color. We hypothesized that convexity-context effects arise when the interpretation of a single large surface pre-empts that of multiple same-color concave figures, which then allows convex figures to dominate. We investigated whether it takes time for surface pre-emption to occur by presenting a mask at different inter-stimulus-intervals (ISIs) after the figure-ground display, following a tradition in which masks are used to test the dynamics of visual processing. When the mask immediately followed the 100-ms display (0-ms ISI), simple effects of convexity were observed in that convex regions were seen as figure significantly more often than chance (56%), p . 20. When the onset of the mask was delayed by 100 ms, convexity-context effects were evident, p <. 01, and the pattern was significantly different from that obtained in the 0-ms ISI condition, p .70. Our results indicate that more time is required for convexity-context effects than for simple effects of convexity, perhaps because it takes time for surface interpolation and pre-emption to occur. We interpret these results within a recurrent model of figure-ground perception in which figure assignment emerges from interactions between as well as within levels of the hierarchical visual system.

Salvagio, E. Peterson, M. A. (2010). Temporal Dynamics in Convexity Context Effects [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 10(7):1214, 1214a,, doi:10.1167/10.7.1214. [CrossRef]

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