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Irene Togoli, Domenica Bueti, Michele Fornaciai; The nature of magnitude integration: Contextual interference versus active magnitude binding. Journal of Vision 2022;22(11):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.11.11.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Magnitude dimensions such as duration and numerosity have been shown to systematically interact, biasing each other in a congruent fashion: the more numerous a set of items is, the longer it is perceived to last in time. This integration between dimensions plays an important role in defining how we perceive magnitude. So far, however, the nature of magnitude integration remains unclear. Is magnitude integration a contextual interference, occurring whenever different types of information are concurrently available in the visual field, or does it involve an active “binding” of the different dimensions of the same object? To address these possibilities, we measured the integration bias induced by numerosity on perceived duration, in two cases: with duration and numerosity conveyed by distinct stimuli, or by the same stimulus. We show that a congruent integration effect can be observed only when the two magnitudes belong to the same stimulus. Instead, when the two magnitudes are conveyed by distinct stimuli, we observed an opposite effect. These findings demonstrate for the first time that a congruent integration occurs only between the dimensions of the same stimulus, suggesting the involvement of an active mechanism integrating the different dimensions of the same object in a unified percept.
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