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Predictive eyes precede retrieval: visual recognition as hypothesis testing
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Does visual recognition entail verifying an idea about what is perceived? This question was addressed in the three studies of this thesis. The main hypothesis underlying the investigation was that visual recognition is an active process involving hypothesis testing. Recognition of faces (Study 1), scenes (Study 2) and objects (Study 3) was investigated using eye movement registration as a window on the recognition process. In Study 1, a functional relationship between eye movements and face recognition was established. Restricting the eye movements reduced recognition performance. In addition, perceptual reinstatement as indicated by eye movement consistency across study and test was related to recollective experience at test. Specifically, explicit recollection was related to higher eye movement consistency than familiarity-based recognition and false rejections (Studies 1-2). Furthermore, valid expectations about a forthcoming stimulus scene produced eye movements which were more similar to those of an earlier study episode, compared to invalid expectations (Study 2). In Study 3 participants recognized fragmented objects embedded in nonsense fragments. Around 8 seconds prior to explicit recognition, participants began to fixate the object region rather than a similar control region in the stimulus pictures. Before participants’ indicated awareness of the object, they fixated it with an average of 9 consecutive fixations. Hence, participants were looking at the object as if they had recognized it before they became aware of its identity. Furthermore, prior object information affected eye movement sampling of the stimulus, suggesting that semantic memory was involved in guiding the eyes during object recognition even before the participants were aware of its presence. Collectively, the studies support the view that gaze control is instrumental to visual recognition performance and that visual recognition is an interactive process between memory representation and information sampling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Psykologi , 2007. , 58 p.
Series
Umeå studies in cognitive science, ISSN 1654-2568 ; 2
Keyword [en]
declarative memory, face perception, object recognition, scene recognition, eye movements, visual awareness, recollection, familiarity
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1179ISBN: 978-91-7264-347-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-1179DiVA: diva2:140451
Public defence
2007-09-14, NBVH 1031, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, S-901 87, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-06-12 Created: 2007-06-12 Last updated: 2011-03-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Gaze control and recollective experience in face recognition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gaze control and recollective experience in face recognition
2006 (English)In: Visual cognition (Print), ISSN 1350-6285, E-ISSN 1464-0716, Vol. 14, no 3, 365-386 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In two experiments, we examined the relation between gaze control and recollective experience in the context of face recognition. In Experiment 1, participants studied a series of faces, while their eye movements were eliminated either during study or test, or both. Subsequently, they made remember/know judgements for each recognized test face. The preclusion of eye movements impaired explicit recollection without affecting familiarity-based recognition. In Experiment 2, participants examined unfamiliar faces under two study conditions (similarity vs. difference judgements), while their eye movements were registered. Similarity vs. difference judgements produced the opposite effects on remember/know responses, with no systematic effects on eye movements. However, face recollection was related to eye movements, so that remember responses were associated with more frequent refixations than know responses. These findings suggest that saccadic eye movements mediate the nature of recollective experience, and that explicit recollection reflects a greater consistency between study and test fixations than familiarity-based face recognition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hove: Psychology Press, 2006
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-14027 (URN)10.1080/13506280500347992 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-05-21 Created: 2007-05-21 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Memory for scenes: refixations reflect retrieval
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Memory for scenes: refixations reflect retrieval
2007 (English)In: Memory & Cognition, ISSN 0090-502X, E-ISSN 1532-5946, ISSN 1532-5946 (electronic), Vol. 35, no 7, 1664-1674 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most conceptions of episodic memory hold that reinstatement of encoding operations is essential for retrieval success, but the specific mechanisms of retrieval reinstatement are not well understood. In three experiments, we used saccadic eye movements as a window for examining reinstatement in scene recognition. In Experiment 1, participants viewed complex scenes, while number of study fixations was controlled by using a gaze-contingent paradigm. In Experiment 2, effects of stimulus saliency were minimized by directing participants’ eye movements during study. At test, participants made remember/know judgments for each recognized stimulus scene. Both experiments showed that remember responses were associated with more consistent study-test fixations than false rejections (Experiments 1 and 2) and know responses (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, we examined the causal role of gaze consistency on retrieval by manipulating participants’ expectations during recognition. After studying name and scene pairs, each test scene was preceded by the same or different name as during study. Participants made more consistent eye movements following a matching, rather than mismatching, scene name. Taken together, these findings suggest that explicit recollection is a function of perceptual reconstruction and that event memory influences gaze control in this active reconstruction process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EBSCO, 2007
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2443 (URN)
Available from: 2007-06-12 Created: 2007-06-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Looking as if you know: Implicit identification guides the eyes in object recognition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Looking as if you know: Implicit identification guides the eyes in object recognition
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2444 (URN)
Available from: 2007-06-12 Created: 2007-06-12Bibliographically approved

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