Task-invariant aspects of goodness in perceptual representation

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In two experiments, pairs of Garner's classical 5-dot patterns were presented with an interstimulus interval of 500┬áms in a same–different task in which a physical sameness criterion was used: Rotated or reflected versions of the same pattern were rated as different . Patterns varied in “goodness” according to Garner's equivalence set size measure. Both first and second pattern goodness affected reaction time and accuracy. This result and fits of models to reaction time data indicate that equivalence set representations are used in the task, as in a related categorical matching task in previous studies. Two effects were observed that contrast with the categorical matching task: One is a conflict between the need to respond different to patterns that are categorically equivalent under the equivalence set representation; the other is that extra time is needed for rechecking of the representation if pattern structures are hard to distinguish. In combination with previous studies, the present results show that even though the processes differ, the same representational mechanism is used across tasks.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02724980443000629

Affiliations: University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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