Capacity limits are a hallmark of visual cognition. The upper boundary of our ability to individuate and re- member objects is well known but—despite its central role in visual information processing—not well understood. Here, we investigated the role of temporal limits in the perceptual processes of forming “object files.” Specifically, we examined the two fundamental mechanisms of object file formation—individuation and identification—by selectively interfering with visual processing by using forward and backward masking with variable stimulus onset asyn- chronies. While target detection was almost unaffected by these two types of masking, they showed distinct effects on the two different stages of object formation. Forward “inte- gration” masking selectively impaired object individuation, whereas backward “interruption” masking only affected identification and the consolidation of information into vi- sual working memory. We therefore conclude that the inher- ent temporal dynamics of visual information processing are an essential component in creating the capacity limits in object individuation and visual working memory.

Temporal buffering and visual capacity: the time course of object formation underlies capacity limits in visual cognition

Wutz, Andreas Gerhard;Melcher, David Paul
2013-01-01

Abstract

Capacity limits are a hallmark of visual cognition. The upper boundary of our ability to individuate and re- member objects is well known but—despite its central role in visual information processing—not well understood. Here, we investigated the role of temporal limits in the perceptual processes of forming “object files.” Specifically, we examined the two fundamental mechanisms of object file formation—individuation and identification—by selectively interfering with visual processing by using forward and backward masking with variable stimulus onset asyn- chronies. While target detection was almost unaffected by these two types of masking, they showed distinct effects on the two different stages of object formation. Forward “inte- gration” masking selectively impaired object individuation, whereas backward “interruption” masking only affected identification and the consolidation of information into vi- sual working memory. We therefore conclude that the inher- ent temporal dynamics of visual information processing are an essential component in creating the capacity limits in object individuation and visual working memory.
2013
Wutz, Andreas Gerhard; Melcher, David Paul
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/33959
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