Rapid enumeration within a fraction of a single glance: The role of visible persistence in object individuation capacity

Andreas Wutz, Alfonso Caramazza, David Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The number of items that can be individuated at a single glance is limited. Here, we investigate object individuation at a higher temporal resolution, in fractions of a single glance. In two experiments involving object individuation we manipulated the duration of visual persistence of the target items with a forward masking procedure. The number of items as well as their stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) to the mask was varied independently. The results showed main effects of numerosity and SOA, as well as an interaction. These effects were not caused by a generic reduction of item visibility by the mask. Instead, the SOA manipulation appeared to fractionate the time to access the sensory image. These findings suggest that the capacity limit of 3-4 items found in object individuation is, at least partially, the consequence of the temporal window of access to sensory information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-732
Number of pages16
JournalVisual Cognition
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Capacity
  • Object individuation
  • Sensory memory
  • Subitizing
  • Visible persistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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