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.
- Object individuation
- Sensory memory
- Visible persistence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Cognitive Neuroscience