December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
The influence of background scenes on spatial congruency bias
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Zihan Bai
    The Ohio State University
  • Yong Min Choi
    The Ohio State University
  • Julie D Golomb
    The Ohio State University
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  NIH R01-EY025648 (JG), NSF 1848939 (JG)
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 4012. doi:
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      Zihan Bai, Yong Min Choi, Julie D Golomb; The influence of background scenes on spatial congruency bias. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):4012.

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

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The spatial congruency bias is an effect revealing that people are more inclined to misjudge two objects presented sequentially as the same identity when they are in the same spatial location, despite location being irrelevant to the task (Golomb et al., 2014). However, previous studies have presented objects in isolation on an empty background, whereas in realistic settings, objects are almost always viewed along with a background scene. The goal of the current study was to explore the influence of background scenes on the spatial congruency bias and object-location binding. In a series of experiments, subjects performed a same-different judgment task on the identity of two objects presented successively in either the same or different spatial locations. One experiment tested whether the presence of a background scene modulates the spatial congruency bias, by presenting objects superimposed on a background scene or blank white background (Scene-present vs. Scene-absent condition). We found a more robust spatial congruency bias when objects were presented without a background than when presented with a background scene. Another experiment tested whether the effect of a scene on the spatial congruency bias depends on the consistency between the identity of background scenes. Here, the two objects on a trial were presented on either the same or different background scenes (Same-scene vs. Different-scene condition). We found a significant spatial congruency bias only when two objects were presented with the same background scene, but not when presented with different scenes, though the difference across scene conditions was not significant. These results reveal that background scenes may weakly modulate object-location binding, and open up future research questions investigating the spatial congruency bias and object-location binding in realistic settings.


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