Occlusion, Symmetry, and Object-Based Attention: Reply to Saiki (2000)
journal contributionposted on 01.08.2000 by Marlene Behrmann, Richard S. Zemel, Michael C. Mozer
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J. Saiki (2000) argued that, because the stimuli used by M. Behrmann, R. S. Zemel, and M. C. Mozer (1998) were confounded by symmetry, conclusions about whether amodally completed objects can benefit from object-based attention are unwarranted. Here, the authors examine J. Saiki's claim further and expand on their view of the mechanisms underlying object-based attention, suggesting that perceptual organization is the process whereby features from a single object are selectively attended. In light of this, they claim that heuristics such as symmetry and collinearity play an important role in the facilitation of features from a single object. In support of this claim, they present data from a further experiment using displays that exploit common fate, another grouping heuristic, and show that, under these conditions, the hallmark of object-based attention, a single-object advantage, is obtained for the occluded (amodally completed) shapes.