Automatic frame-centered object representation and integration revealed by iconic memory, visual priming, and backward masking

Zhicheng Lin, Sheng He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Object identities ("what") and their spatial locations ("where") are processed in distinct pathways in the visual system, raising the question of how the what and where information is integrated. Because of object motions and eye movements, the retina-based representations are unstable, necessitating nonretinotopic representation and integration. A potential mechanism is to code and update objects according to their reference frames (i.e., frame-centered representation and integration). To isolate frame-centered processes, in a frame-to-frame apparent motion configuration, we (a) presented two preceding or trailing objects on the same frame, equidistant from the target on the other frame, to control for object-based (frame-based) effect and space-based effect, and (b) manipulated the target's relative location within its frame to probe frame-centered effect. We show that iconic memory, visual priming, and backward masking depend on objects' relative frame locations, orthogonal of the retinotopic coordinate. These findings not only reveal that iconic memory, visual priming, and backward masking can be nonretinotopic but also demonstrate that these processes are automatically constrained by contextual frames through a frame-centered mechanism. Thus, object representation is robustly and automatically coupled to its reference frame and continuously being updated through a frame-centered, location-specific mechanism. These findings lead to an object cabinet framework, in which objects ("files") within the reference frame ("cabinet") are orderly coded relative to the frame.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalJournal of vision
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Frametopic representation
  • Iconic memory
  • Masking
  • Nonretinotopic processing
  • Object/frame-based processing
  • Object/frame-centered processing
  • Perceptual continuity
  • Priming
  • Retinotopic representation
  • Spatiotopic representation

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