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R. T. Pramod, S. P. Arun; Object attributes combine additively in visual search. Journal of Vision 2016;16(5):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.5.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We perceive objects as containing a variety of attributes: local features, relations between features, internal details, and global properties. But we know little about how they combine. Here, we report a remarkably simple additive rule that governs how these diverse object attributes combine in vision. The perceived dissimilarity between two objects was accurately explained as a sum of (a) spatially tuned local contour-matching processes modulated by part decomposition; (b) differences in internal details, such as texture; (c) differences in emergent attributes, such as symmetry; and (d) differences in global properties, such as orientation or overall configuration of parts. Our results elucidate an enduring question in object vision by showing that the whole object is not a sum of its parts but a sum of its many attributes.
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