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Dissociating implicit and explicit ensemble representations reveals the limits of visual perception and the richness of behavior

Dissociating implicit and explicit ensemble representations reveals the limits of visual perception and the richness of behavior


Title: Dissociating implicit and explicit ensemble representations reveals the limits of visual perception and the richness of behavior
Author: Hansmann-Roth, Sabrina   orcid.org/0000-0002-2606-9095
Kristjánsson, Árni
Whitney, David
Chetverikov, Andrey   orcid.org/0000-0003-2767-6310
Date: 2021-02-16
Language: English
Scope: 3899
School: Health Sciences
Department: Faculty of Psychology
Series: Scientific Reports; 11(1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83358-y
Subject: Sjónskynjun; Ákvarðanataka; Sjón; article; decision making; dissaciation; human; noise; probability; vision; visual system; Multidisciplinary
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3143

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Citation:

Hansmann-Roth , S , Kristjánsson , Á , Whitney , D & Chetverikov , A 2021 , ' Dissociating implicit and explicit ensemble representations reveals the limits of visual perception and the richness of behavior ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 11 , no. 1 , 3899 , pp. 3899 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83358-y

Abstract:

Our senses provide us with a rich experience of a detailed visual world, yet the empirical results seem to suggest severe limitations on our ability to perceive and remember. In recent attempts to reconcile the contradiction between what is experienced and what can be reported, it has been argued that the visual world is condensed to a set of summary statistics, explaining both the rich experience and the sparse reports. Here, we show that explicit reports of summary statistics underestimate the richness of ensemble perception. Our observers searched for an odd-one-out target among heterogeneous distractors and their representation of distractor characteristics was tested explicitly or implicitly. Observers could explicitly distinguish distractor sets with different mean and variance, but not differently-shaped probability distributions. In contrast, the implicit assessment revealed that the visual system encodes the mean, the variance, and even the shape of feature distributions. Furthermore, explicit measures had common noise sources that distinguished them from implicit measures. This suggests that explicit judgments of stimulus ensembles underestimate the richness of visual representations. We conclude that feature distributions are encoded in rich detail and can guide behavior implicitly, even when the information available for explicit summary judgments is coarse and limited.

Description:

Funding Information: S.H.R. and A.K. were supported by Grant IRF #173947-052 from the Icelandic research fund, and by a Grant from the Research Fund of the University of Iceland. A.C. is supported by a Radboud Excellence Fellowship. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).

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