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Feature integration

independent of awareness
Frouke Hermens , Frank Scharnowski , Michael H. Herzog
Laboratory of Psychophysics, Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Introduction a. Temporal integration occurs between a


a Temporal integration b No temporal integration
vernier and an anti-vernier, i.e. only one vernier
is perceived. The reported offset corresponds
vernier vernier more often to that of the anti-vernier.
(20ms) (20ms)

Time
anti-vernier
Time anti-verniers b. If the anti-vernier is surrounded by identical
(20ms)
(20ms) anti-verniers, the anti-verniers group into a
large structure. Participants now choose
the vernier offset more often.
Percept Percept
Temporal integration no longer occurs.

Anti-vernier dominates Vernier dominates


Does the brain only integrate similar structures?
Is awareness of the structure necessary?

Experiment 40

VD(1V-5AV20N) - VD(1V-AV24N) (%)


Offset discrimination
30
1AV24N 5AV20N 9 observers
100
20
Vernier dominance (%)

80
10
60
0
40

-10
20

0 -20
5V 1V 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90
Performance on mask decision task (% correct)

20ms Mask decision


20ms or ?

- only structures with the same size are - integration is independent of awareness
temporally integrated of the spatial structure

Model
T = 10 T = 20 T = 30 T = 40 T = 50

We

Time

Excitatory layer

1AV24N 5AV20N Predicted


Wi We 100
Vernier dominance (%)

Inhibitory layer 80

V
60
Wi

V 40

20
Stimulus
(300x140 0
pixels)
5V 1V

Conclusions
- Only similar structures are integrated across frames
- Integration is independent of awareness of the spatial structure
- Seemingly complex grouping mechanisms can be explained by low-level neural interactions

http://lpsy.epfl.ch/ Corresponding author: frouke.hermens@epfl.ch