Spatially intermixed objects of different categories are par
Now open: Certificate Course in Management of Covid-19 by Govt. Of Gujarat and PlexusMDKnow more...Now open: Certificate Course in Management of Covid-19 by Govt. Of Gujarat and PlexusMDKnow more...
Through this experiment, researchers confirm the capability of the visual system to automatically categorize objects (i.e., without requiring attention span).

Our visual system is able to separate spatially intermixed objects into different categorical groups using the shape of feature distribution. Despite the apparent ease of rapid categorization, it is a very computationally demanding task, given severely limited “bottlenecks” of attention and working memory capacity of processing only a few objects at a time. Here, investigators tested whether this rapid categorical parsing is automatic or requires attention.

They used the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) ERP component known as a marker of automatic sensory discrimination. 20 volunteers participated in the study.

--Loading participants’ attention with a central task, they observed a substantial vMMN response to unattended background changes of categories defined by certain length-orientation conjunctions.

--Importantly, this occurred in conditions where the distributions of these features had several peaks and, hence, supported categorical separation.

The experiment concludes that spatially intermixed objects are parsed into distinct categories automatically and give new insight into how the visual system can bypass the severe processing restrictions and form rich perceptual experience.

Scientific Reports
Source: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79828-4
Like
Comment
Share