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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1989 Aug;15(3):556-66.

Effect of background information on object identification.

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Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.


Previous research using briefly presented displays has indicated that objects in a coherent scene are easier to identify than are objects in incoherent backgrounds. Of interest is whether the identification of the target object depends on the identification of the scene or the identification of other diagnostic objects in the scene. Experiment 1 indicated objects are more difficult to identify when located in an "episodically" inconsistent background even when the same diagnostic objects are present in both inconsistent and consistent backgrounds. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the degree to which noncued (cohort) objects are consistent with the target object has no effect on the object identification task. Experiment 3 showed consistent episodic background information facilitated object identification and inconsistent episodic background information did not interfere relative to "nonsense" backgrounds roughly equated on visual characteristics. Implications for models of scene perception are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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