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Detection of irregular spatial structures

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

Wilson et al.'s (1997) study on Glass patterns suggested that the integration of stimulus features into a linear shape occurs quite locally, whereas curved structures — such as circular — require global summation. Their conclusion was based on experiments in which they varied the size of the signal area containing a spatial structure. In the present study, we tested the integration of constant-sized linear and curved Glass patterns by varying their global irregularity. If the mechanisms underlying the detection of a Glass pattern pool features globally throughout the stimulus, the irregularity should have a strong effect on detection performance. The irregular Glass patterns were composed of a variable number of sub-areas, each of which contained its own linear or curved structure. The structural irregularity impaired the detection of the curved patterns, whereas the thresholds for the linear patterns were not affected. Thus, our results are in line with the notion that the integration of curved Glass patterns occurs more globally than the integration of linear patterns.


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