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Thresholds for the detection of changing visual features

journal contribution
posted on 2011-04-01, 00:00 authored by Alex BurmesterAlex Burmester, Guy Wallis
Change blindness refers to the difficulty observers have in detecting otherwise obvious changes to visual stimuli, when these changes are masked in some way. Typically, change blindness is studied by using complex visual scenes and complex changes to these scenes. In the current study, we used a more controlled visual environment, presenting observers with a series of oriented, sinusoidal patterns (Gabors), one of which underwent a change during a blanking of the screen. Changes were made to different features (size, colour, spatial frequency, and speed) with the target – distractor discriminability varying. The detectability of these changes was quantified by calculating psychometric functions and thresholds for each individual observer. Thresholds for the detection of changing features were higher than those for non-changing features, but thresholds for both tasks show consistency across observers. Psychometric-function slopes show consistency across observers and change type only for non-changing targets. For changing targets, psychometric-function slopes show no obvious pattern across observers or change types. We suggest this reflects vSTM treating different features as abstract, interchangeable tokens, as alternative explanations (such as additional noise in vSTM) can be ruled out.

History

Journal

Perception

Volume

40

Issue

4

Pagination

409 - 421

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

0301-0066

eISSN

1468-4233

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, SAGE Publications

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