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Nat Neurosci. 2002 Jul;5(7):629-30.

Parallel processing in high-level categorization of natural images.

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Centre de Recherche Cerveau and Cognition, UMR 5549, CNRS-UPS, Faculté de Médecine de Rangueil, 133 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France.


Models of visual processing often include an initial parallel stage that is restricted to relatively low-level features, whereas activation of higher-level object descriptions is generally assumed to require attention. Here we report that even high-level object representations can be accessed in parallel: in a rapid animal versus non-animal categorization task, both behavioral and electrophysiological data show that human subjects were as fast at responding to two simultaneously presented natural images as they were to a single one. The implication is that even complex natural images can be processed in parallel without the need for sequential focal attention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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