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ERIC Number: EJ934624
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0096-3445
Dynamic Prototypicality Effects in Visual Search
Kayaert, Greet; Op de Beeck, Hans P.; Wagemans, Johan
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v140 n3 p506-519 Aug 2011
In recent studies, researchers have discovered a larger neural activation for stimuli that are more extreme exemplars of their stimulus class, compared with stimuli that are more prototypical. This has been shown for faces as well as for familiar and novel shape classes. We used a visual search task to look for a behavioral correlate of these findings regarding both simple geometrical shapes and more complex, novel shape classes. The latter stimulus set enabled us to control for the physical properties of the shapes, establishing that the effects are solely due to the positions of the particular stimuli in a particular shape space (i.e., more extreme versus more central in shape space) and not to specific shape features. The results indicate that finding an atypical instance of a shape class among more prototypical ones is easier and faster than the other way around. The prototypical status of a shape in our experiment could change very quickly, that is, within minutes, depending on the subset of shapes that was shown to the participants. Manipulating the degree of familiarity toward the shapes by selectively increasing familiarity for the extreme shapes did not influence our results. In general, we show that the prototypical status of a stimulus in visual search is a highly dynamic property, depending on the distribution of stimuli within a shape space but not on familiarity with the prototype. (Contains 6 footnotes, 2 tables and 10 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium