October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Manipulating semantic consistency between two objects and a scene: an ERP paradigm
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tim Lauer
    Scene Grammar Lab, Department of Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Sage E. P. Boettcher
    Brain and Cognition Lab, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
  • Diana Kollenda
    Scene Grammar Lab, Department of Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Dejan Draschkow
    Brain and Cognition Lab, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
  • Melissa L.-H. Vo
    Scene Grammar Lab, Department of Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – project number 222641018 – SFB/TRR 135 TP C7
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 1078. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1078
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      Tim Lauer, Sage E. P. Boettcher, Diana Kollenda, Dejan Draschkow, Melissa L.-H. Vo; Manipulating semantic consistency between two objects and a scene: an ERP paradigm. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):1078. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1078.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

An object that is semantically consistent with its scene context (e.g., a volleyball at a beach) is typically recognized better than an inconsistent object (a printer). This type of object-to-scene consistency effect has been reported in a number of behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) studies. Moreover, there is behavioral evidence that object-to-object relatedness modulates the recognition of objects in scenes. Here, we used ERPs to assess the contextual influence that two local objects may exert on each other and how they may interact with the global background scene context. Specifically, we looked at the N400 component, a known marker of semantic access in language and scene perception. Thirty-two participants were presented with two objects superimposed on a scene for 2000 ms, on the left and right of a central fixation point. We manipulated both the semantic object-to-scene consistency and object-to-object relatedness, resulting in four conditions: 1) both objects are consistent with the scene and related to each other (CON_REL), 2) one object is consistent with the scene while the two objects are unrelated (CON_UNREL), 3) both objects are inconsistent with the scene and related to each other (INCON_REL), 4) both objects are inconsistent with the scene and unrelated to each other (INCON_UNREL). Participants completed a repetition detection task, requiring them to attend to both the objects and the scene. In the N400 time window, the INCON_UNREL condition evoked a more negative potential than all other conditions whereas all other possible comparisons were not significant. These data suggest that – in such a paradigm – one consistent relation of an object with either the scene or its object-to-object neighbor is enough to eliminate the inconsistency effect in the prototypical time window.

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