New publication in Nature Communications: Statistically defined visual chunks engage object-based attention
New publication in Nature Communications:
Statistically defined visual chunks engage object-based attention
Nature Communications volume 12, Article number: 272 (2021)
Although objects are the fundamental units of our representation interpreting the environment around us, it is still not clear how we handle and organize the incoming sensory information to form object representations. By utilizing previously well-documented advantages of within-object over across-object information processing, here we test whether learning involuntarily consistent visual statistical properties of stimuli that are free of any traditional segmentation cues might be sufficient to create object-like behavioral effects. Using a visual statistical learning paradigm and measuring efficiency of 3-AFC search and object-based attention, we find that statistically defined and implicitly learned visual chunks bias observers’ behavior in subsequent search tasks the same way as objects defined by visual boundaries do. These results suggest that learning consistent statistical contingencies based on the sensory input contributes to the emergence of object representations.