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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1987 Aug;13(3):449-63.

Effects of foveal priming and extrafoveal preview on object identification.

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Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.


The results of three different experiments suggested that the relation between an object in the fovea on fixation n and an object subsequently brought into the fovea on fixation n + 1 affects the time to identify the second object. In Experiment 1 we extended previous work by demonstrating that a previously seen related priming object speeded the time to name a target object even when a saccade intervened between the two objects. In Experiment 2 we replicated this result and further showed that the benefit on naming time was due to facilitation from the related object rather than inhibition from the unrelated object. In addition, naming of the target object was much slower in both experiments when there was not a peripheral preview of the target object on fixation n. However, because the effect of the foveal priming object was greater when the target was not present than when it was present, priming did not appear to make extraction of the extrafoveal information more efficient. In Experiment 3, fixation times were recorded while subjects looked at four objects in order to identify them. Fixation time on an object was shorter when a related object was fixated immediately before it, even though the four objects did not form a scene. The size of the facilitation was roughly comparable to that in several analogous experiments where scenes were used. The results suggest that the effects of a predictive scene context on object identification may be explainable in terms of an object-to-object or "intralevel" priming mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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