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Attention-based texture segregation

Luminance- or color-defined +or-45 degrees -oriented bars were arranged to yield single-feature or double-conjunction texture pairs. In the former, the global edge between 2 regions is formed by differences in 1 attribute (orientation, or color, or luminance). The authors studied whether edge detection improved when 28 Os (aged 18-26 yrs) were instructed to attend to such subsets. Two groups of Os participated: in the test group, the stimulus construction was explained to Os, and they were cued to attend to 1 subset. The control group ran through the same total number of sessions without explanations/cues. Feature cuing was more effective for color/orientation than for luminance/orientation conjunctions. Within each stimulus category, performance was nearly the same no matter which subset was attended to. On average, a global performance improvement occurred over time even without cuing, but some Os did not improve with either cuing or practice. These results are discussed in the context of 1- vs 2-stage segregation theories, as well as by reference to signal enhancement vs noise suppression. The authors conclude that texture segregation can be improved by attentional strategies aimed to isolate specific stimulus features. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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