Relative Salience of Emergent Features in Vision
Pomerantz, James R.
Doctor of Philosophy
What exactly are the ``parts'' that make up a whole object, and how and when do they group? The answer that is proposed hinges on Emergent Features: features that materialize from the configuration and that make the object more discriminable from other objects. EFs are not possessed by any individual part and are processed as or more quickly than are the properties of the parts. The present experiment focuses on visual discrimination of two-line configurations in an odd-quadrant task. Stimuli were created so as to isolate each EF in order to measure its contribution to speed of discrimination. Previous results suggest that the EFs most responsible for the variations in RT might be Lateral Endpoint Offset, Intersections, Parallelism, Connectivity, Terminator Count, Pixel Count, Closure, and Inside /Outside Relationship. The present study determined the boost or detriments in performance due to each EF and ranked them in terms of their relative salience. The most salient features were: Connectivity, Parallelism, Closure, Intersections, and Inside/Outside Relationship.
Vision; Emergent features; Visual search; Cognitive neuroscience; Visual perception