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Mouna Attarha, Cathleen M. Moore; The perceptual processing capacity of summary statistics between and within feature dimensions. Journal of Vision 2015;15(4):9. doi: 10.1167/15.4.9.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The simultaneous–sequential method was used to test the processing capacity of statistical summary representations both within and between feature dimensions. Sixteen gratings varied with respect to their size and orientation. In Experiment 1, the gratings were equally divided into four separate smaller sets, one of which with a mean size that was larger or smaller than the other three sets, and one of which with a mean orientation that was tilted more leftward or rightward. The task was to report the mean size and orientation of the oddball sets. This therefore required four summary representations for size and another four for orientation. The sets were presented at the same time in the simultaneous condition or across two temporal frames in the sequential condition. Experiment 1 showed evidence of a sequential advantage, suggesting that the system may be limited with respect to establishing multiple within-feature summaries. Experiment 2 eliminates the possibility that some aspect of the task, other than averaging, was contributing to this observed limitation. In Experiment 3, the same 16 gratings appeared as one large superset, and therefore the task only required one summary representation for size and another one for orientation. Equal simultaneous–sequential performance indicated that between-feature summaries are capacity free. These findings challenge the view that within-feature summaries drive a global sense of visual continuity across areas of the peripheral visual field, and suggest a shift in focus to seeking an understanding of how between-feature summaries in one area of the environment control behavior.
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