The detection of temporally defined objects does not require focused attention.

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Abstract

Perceptual grouping is crucial to distinguish objects from their background. Recent studies have shown that observers can detect an object that does not have any unique qualities other than unique temporal properties. A crucial question is whether focused attention is needed for this type of grouping. In two visual search experiments, we show that searching for an object defined by temporal grouping can occur in parallel. These findings suggest that focused attention is not needed for temporal grouping to occur. It is proposed that temporal grouping may occur because the neurons representing the changing object elements adopt firing frequencies that cause the visual system to bind these elements together without the need for focused attention. © 2008 The Experimental Psychology Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1142
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume61
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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