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Researchers from the University of Trento replicated 'scene-context' effect in two experiments by showing that participants identified pictures of objects more accurately when presented in a consistent scene background (a barbecue in a garden) compared to when presented in an inconsistent scene background (barbecue in a living room).
Current research shows that the human skill of rapidly and accurately identifying everyday objects is due in part to the context in which they are presented. This well-known scene-context effect was found to be independent of the focus of attention.
But in a third experiment, they addressed whether the consistency effect can occur without paying attention to the scene background. Results showed that the consistency effect occurred with a similar magnitude regardless of whether participants attended to the target object or the scene background.
These results indicate that a consistent context benefits object recognition independently of attentional focus. The researchers suggest that the consistency effect is driven by so-called "scene gist," (the meaning of what a scene represents), making it easier to identify objects that belong to that specific scene-type.
Dr Jaap Munneke,
Center for Mind/Brain Science,
University of Trento, Italy
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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