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Eiko Shimojo, Chihiro Saegusa, Junghyun Park, Alexandra Souverneva, Shinsuke Shimojo; Attractiveness is leaky (1): Center and Surround. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):274. doi: 10.1167/10.7.274.
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Repeated experience with a stimulus form a memory that affects preference decision in future. We have demonstrated that N(ovelty)/F(amiliarity) of a surrounding natural scene (NS) affects attractiveness of a central face (FC), even when the subjects neglected the surround NS (Shimojo, et al., VSS '09). To examine further how N and F interact between a center (task-relevant) stimulus and surrounding (task-irrelevant) stimuli, we prepared three new stimulus sets in which a central FC(, NS, or GF) is surrounded by four others (always in the same object category), and N/F of the center and the surround were manipulated independently. According to pre-ratings, the baseline attractiveness was matched between the center and the surround. The subjects performed two tasks in separate sessions: (1) to rate attractiveness of the central stimulus only, or (2) to rate attractiveness of the whole image. Eye movements were recorded (by EyeLink 2). The eye tracking results ensured the effectiveness of task instructions. Even when the subject focused on the attractiveness of the center only (in the task (1) above), it was implicitly affected by that of the surround modulated via memory. For example, attractiveness of the central new GF changed more positively across trials when the surround GF is new as opposed to old, which was however not true for the central old GF. More in general, there are significant interactions between the central (new/old) and the peripheral (new/old) conditions. Different factors, including (a) segregation of N/F across object categories (Shimojo, et al., VSS '07), (b) modulation of N/F due to task-dependent attention, and (c) implicit contagion of attractiveness from outside of attention, will be considered.
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