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Carmela Gottesman; Effects of prior tasks on priming for distance judgments in scenes. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):324. doi: 10.1167/16.12.324.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Prior research has shown that distance judgments in pictures of natural scenes are faster when the scenes are primed with a picture that shows the layout of the scene as opposed to a different prime. This study looked at the effect of different kinds of prior processing of the same pictures on this priming effect. First viewers saw 120 pictures of scenes, and had to make one of two judgments; they were either asked to judge if there were people in the scene and if so were there a few or many, or they were asked to judge the direction of the picture's layout (is the layout drawing the eye to the right, to the left, or straight forward) . In the second block, they saw the same pictures again primed either by the same scene or by a neutral stimulus that showed no scene layout (following Sanocki & Epstein, 1997). Two dots were added to the pictures and people had to judge which dot was close to them (or to the camera when the picture was taken). Priming calculated as the difference in RT when the judged picture followed an abstract prime compared to when it followed a prime showing the same scene (without the to-be-judged dots). The priming in the second block was significantly affected by the type of processing that people engaged in the first part of the study. Viewers who engaged in the non-spatial task, judging the number of people in the scene, were helped more by the scene primes in the second block (showed more priming), than viewers who engaged in the spatial task. The results indicate that simply seeing the layout of the scene previously does not assist spatial judgments as much as seeing the picture while paying attention to the layout.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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