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This article is part of the Research Topic Inhibition in the process of feature binding


Front. Psychol., 27 April 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00119

The fate of visible features of invisible elements

Michael H. Herzog1*, Thomas U. Otto2,3 and Haluk Ögmen4,5
  • 1 Laboratory of Psychophysics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2 Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France
  • 3 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 8158, Paris, France
  • 4 Center for Neuro-Engineering and Cognitive Science, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA
  • 5 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA

To investigate the integration of features, we have developed a paradigm in which an element is rendered invisible by visual masking. Still, the features of the element are visible as part of other display elements presented at different locations and times (sequential metacontrast). In this sense, we can “transport” features non-retinotopically across space and time. The features of the invisible element integrate with features of other elements if and only if the elements belong to the same spatio-temporal group. The mechanisms of this kind of feature integration seem to be quite different from classical mechanisms proposed for feature binding. We propose that feature processing, binding, and integration occur concurrently during processes that group elements into wholes.

Keywords: feature binding, feature processing, feature integration, sequential metacontrast paradigm, feature inheritance

Citation: Herzog MH, Otto TU and Ögmen H (2012) The fate of visible features of invisible elements. Front. Psychology 3:119. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00119

Received: 15 January 2012; Accepted: 01 April 2012;
Published online: 27 April 2012.

Edited by:

Snehlata Jaswal, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, India

Reviewed by:

Greg Francis, Purdue University, USA
Mario Parra, University of Edinburgh, UK

Copyright: © 2012 Herzog, Otto and Ögmen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Michael H. Herzog, Laboratory of Psychophysics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL SV BMI LPSY, Station 19, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland. e-mail: michael.herzog@epfl.ch