Conceptual set as a top - down constraint on visual object identification

Emily Balcetis, Rick Dale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four studies are reported which demonstrate that indirectly, loosely related information, otherwise known as conceptual set, modulates object identification. Studies 1A and 1B demonstrate the impact of indirect, nonspecific, non-perceptual, conceptual primes on the interpretation of ambiguous visual figures. Study 2 demonstrates that indirect, conceptual information (category of farm animals) biases identification without requiring the activation of direct perceptual information (here the image of a horse). Study 3 uses a non-linguistic dependent measure to address the alternative explanation that language and not perception mediates the relationship between incidental conceptual prime and biased object identification. These results suggest that conceptual set constrains object identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-595
Number of pages15
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Conceptual set as a top - down constraint on visual object identification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this