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Leila Drissi-Daoudi, Haluk Öğmen, Michael H. Herzog; Features integrate along a motion trajectory when object integrity is preserved. Journal of Vision 2021;21(12):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.12.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Information about a moving object is usually poor at each retinotopic location because photoreceptor activation is short, noisy, and affected by shadows, reflections of other objects, and so on. Integration across the motion trajectory may yield a much better estimate about the objects’ features. Using the sequential metacontrast paradigm, we have shown previously that features, indeed, integrate along a motion trajectory in a long-lasting window of unconscious processing. In the sequential metacontrast paradigm, a percept of two diverging streams is elicited by the presentation of a central line followed by a sequence of flanking pairs of lines. When several lines are spatially offset, the offsets integrate mandatorily for several hundreds of milliseconds along the motion trajectory of the streams. We propose that, within these long-lasting windows, stimuli are first grouped based on Gestalt principles of grouping. These processes establish reference frames that are used to attribute features. Features are then integrated following their respective reference frame. Here using occlusion and bouncing effects, we show that indeed such grouping operations are in place. We found that features integrate only when the spatiotemporal integrity of the object is preserved. Moreover, when several moving objects are present, only features belonging to the same object integrate. Overall, our results show that feature integration is a deliberate strategy of the brain and long-lasting windows of processing can be seen as periods of sense making.
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