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ERIC Number: EJ1007115
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Is the Whole Really More than the Sum of Its Parts? Estimates of Average Size and Orientation Are Susceptible to Object Substitution Masking
Jacoby, Oscar; Kamke, Marc R.; Mattingley, Jason B.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v39 n1 p233-244 Feb 2013
We have a remarkable ability to accurately estimate average featural information across groups of objects, such as their average size or orientation. It has been suggested that, unlike individual object processing, this process of "feature averaging" occurs automatically and relatively early in the course of perceptual processing, without the need for objects to be processed to the same extent as is required for individual object identification. Here, we probed the processing stages involved in feature averaging by examining whether feature averaging is resistant to object substitution masking (OSM). Participants estimated the average size (Experiment 1) or average orientation (Experiment 2) of groups of briefly presented objects. Masking a subset of the objects using OSM reduced the extent to which these objects contributed to estimates of both average size and average orientation. Contrary to previous findings, these results suggest that feature averaging benefits from late stages of processing, subsequent to the initial registration of featural information. (Contains 6 figures and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia