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Keeping it real : Looking beyond capacity limits in visual cognition

Keeping it real : Looking beyond capacity limits in visual cognition


Title: Keeping it real : Looking beyond capacity limits in visual cognition
Author: Kristjánsson, Árni
Draschkow, Dejan
Date: 2021-03-31
Language: English
Scope: 16
Department: Faculty of Psychology
Series: Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics; 83(4)
ISSN: 1943-3921
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-021-02256-7
Subject: Sýndarveruleiki; Hugsun; Minni; Sjónskynjun; Virtual reality; Visual attention; Visual long-term memory; Visual working memory; Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Language and Linguistics; Sensory Systems; Linguistics and Language
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3142

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Citation:

Kristjánsson , Á & Draschkow , D 2021 , ' Keeping it real : Looking beyond capacity limits in visual cognition ' , Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics , vol. 83 , no. 4 , pp. 1375-1390 . https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-021-02256-7

Abstract:

Research within visual cognition has made tremendous strides in uncovering the basic operating characteristics of the visual system by reducing the complexity of natural vision to artificial but well-controlled experimental tasks and stimuli. This reductionist approach has for example been used to assess the basic limitations of visual attention, visual working memory (VWM) capacity, and the fidelity of visual long-term memory (VLTM). The assessment of these limits is usually made in a pure sense, irrespective of goals, actions, and priors. While it is important to map out the bottlenecks our visual system faces, we focus here on selected examples of how such limitations can be overcome. Recent findings suggest that during more natural tasks, capacity may be higher than reductionist research suggests and that separable systems subserve different actions, such as reaching and looking, which might provide important insights about how pure attentional or memory limitations could be circumvented. We also review evidence suggesting that the closer we get to naturalistic behavior, the more we encounter implicit learning mechanisms that operate “for free” and “on the fly.” These mechanisms provide a surprisingly rich visual experience, which can support capacity-limited systems. We speculate whether natural tasks may yield different estimates of the limitations of VWM, VLTM, and attention, and propose that capacity measurements should also pass the real-world test within naturalistic frameworks. Our review highlights various approaches for this and suggests that our understanding of visual cognition will benefit from incorporating the complexities of real-world cognition in experimental approaches.

Description:

Funding Information: ?K was supported by grants from the Icelandic Research Fund (IRF). ?K and DD were supported by a grant from the Research Fund of the University of Iceland. DD is based at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging which is supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust (203139/Z/16/Z). We would like to thank ?rni Gunnar ?sgeirsson, Gianluca Campana, Mike Dodd, and Michael Hout for very helpful comments on the manuscript. Funding Information: ÁK was supported by grants from the Icelandic Research Fund (IRF). ÁK and DD were supported by a grant from the Research Fund of the University of Iceland. DD is based at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging which is supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust (203139/Z/16/Z). We would like to thank Árni Gunnar Ásgeirsson, Gianluca Campana, Mike Dodd, and Michael Hout for very helpful comments on the manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).

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