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Julie Freschl, David Melcher, Zsuzsa Kaldy, Erik Blaser; Visual temporal integration windows are adult-like in typically developing 5-7-year-old children.. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):781. doi: 10.1167/18.10.781.
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The visual system receives a flow of information that must be organized, over time, into objects, scenes, and events, balancing between stable representations and sensitivity to change. If two events fall within the same Temporal Integration Window, they are integrated; if they fall in different windows, they are segmented (TIW; Wutz et al., 2016). We measured TIWs in typically developing 5-7-year-old children (N=29), and adults (N=36). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first explicit, developmental investigation of visual TIWs. On each trial, participants were presented with a sequence of two 17ms displays (with four such displays, in an ABAB pattern, for children; AB for adults) separated by an Inter-Stimulus Interval (ISI) of 17, 67, 83, or 117 ms. Display A contained seven circles and one half-circle, randomly placed within a virtual 4x4 grid. Display B contained the same elements, but with the circles occupying previously empty locations, and, importantly, the half-circle occupying the same location as in Display A (and with a complementary orientation (adapted from Di Lollo, 1980; see Figure)). Between the two displays, then, 15 of the 16 locations were occupied by elements. This yielded two potential 'targets'. If (and only if) A/B are segmented, the half-circle segmentation target becomes apparent; if A/B are integrated, the empty-location integration target becomes apparent. Depending on block, participants were instructed to locate either the integration or the segmentation target, by pointing (children), or clicking (adults). Longer ISIs increased the likelihood of segmentation, thereby decreasing performance on integration-target trials, but increasing performance on segmentation-target trials, allowing us to pinpoint an individual's TIW by measuring the 'crossover point' where these two functions intersect. Children's TIWs (M=55 ms, SD=21) were indistinguishable from adults' (M=53 ms, SD=25), indicating that TIWs reach adult levels by at least 5-7 years of age.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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