Beyond gist: strategic and incremental information accumulation for scene categorization

Malcolm, G. L., Nuthmann, A. and Schyns, P. (2014) Beyond gist: strategic and incremental information accumulation for scene categorization. Psychological Science, 25(5), pp. 1087-1097. (doi: 10.1177/0956797614522816) (PMID:24604146) (PMCID:PMC4232276)

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Research on scene categorization generally concentrates on gist processing, particularly the speed and minimal features with which the “story” of a scene can be extracted. However, this focus has led to a paucity of research into how scenes are categorized at specific hierarchical levels (e.g., a scene could be a road or more specifically a highway); consequently, research has disregarded a potential diagnostically driven feedback process. We presented participants with scenes that were low-pass filtered so only their gist was revealed, while a gaze-contingent window provided the fovea with full-resolution details. By recording where in a scene participants fixated prior to making a basic- or subordinate-level judgment, we identified the scene information accrued when participants made either categorization. We observed a feedback process, dependent on categorization level, that systematically accrues sufficient and detailed diagnostic information from the same scene. Our results demonstrate that during scene processing, a diagnostically driven bidirectional interplay between top-down and bottom-up information facilitates relevant category processing.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nuthmann, Dr Antje and Schyns, Professor Philippe
Authors: Malcolm, G. L., Nuthmann, A., and Schyns, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Psychological Science
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1467-9280
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Psychological Science 25(5):1087-1097
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
522621High-level knowledge effects on eye movements in real-world scenesGeorge MalcolmEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/H025537/1RI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY