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Jason M. Gold, Erin Shubel; The spatiotemporal properties of visual completion measured by response classification. Journal of Vision 2006;6(4):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/6.4.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
A constant problem faced by the visual system is the identification of partly occluded objects within the visual scene. Recent experiments have demonstrated that the visual system engages in a process of visual completion, where the hidden parts of objects are filled into the visual representation. Recent experiments have also suggested that there may be a time course to this completion process. Here, we examined the spatiotemporal properties of visual completion by having observers classify figures defined by either luminance-defined or illusory contours and then correlating their decisions with externally added spatiotemporal visual noise. This “response classification” technique allowed us to derive a spatiotemporal correlation map (a “classification movie”) that revealed the locations used by observers at each point in space and time during the stimulus presentation. We found that observers gradually became more influenced by noise at locations corresponding to illusory contours across the first 175 ms of stimulus presentation. Our results are consistent with the idea that there is a time course to the completion process on the order of ∼175 ms.
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