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J Exp Psychol Gen. 1987 Dec;116(4):370-80.

Piecemeal organization and cognitive components in object perception: perceptually coupled responses to moving objects.

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Deparment of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027.


In three experiments, observers who were instructed to perceive one of two alternative depth arrangements of a three-dimensional wire cube fixated near one of two intersections that differed in the degree to which they specified the cube's veridical depth organization. In order to separate perceptual effects from experimenter effects, we measured indirect reports about variables perceptually coupled to perceived depth rather than direct reports about perceived depth. In all three experiments, reversal durations at the two intersections differed, even though the two were parts of a single object. In addition, reversals varied with viewers' intentions. Thus, the unit of perceptual organization may be smaller than the entire object, and viewers' intentions can influence the perception of real moving objects. In additional analyses, reversal durations were separated into two components: nonelective instability and malleability; the question of whether these two components of ambiguity are functionally distinct could not be decided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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