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    Inhibition drives configural superiority of illusory Gestalt: Combined behavioral and drift–diffusion model evidence

    Nie, Q.-Y. and Maurer, M. and Muller, Hermann J. and Conci, M. (2016) Inhibition drives configural superiority of illusory Gestalt: Combined behavioral and drift–diffusion model evidence. Cognition 150 , pp. 150-162. ISSN 0010-0277.

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    Illusory Kanizsa figures demonstrate that a perceptually completed whole is more than the sum of its composite parts. In the current study, we explored part/whole relationships in object completion using the configural superiority effect (CSE) with illusory figures (Pomerantz & Portillo, 2011). In particular, we investigated to which extent the CSE is modulated by closure in target and distractor configurations. Our results demonstrated a typical CSE, with detection of a configural whole being more efficient than the detection of a corresponding part-level target. Moreover, the CSE was more pronounced when grouped objects were presented in distractors rather than in the target. A follow-up experiment systematically manipulated closure in whole target or, respectively, distractor configurations. The results revealed the effect of closure to be again stronger in distractor, rather than in target configurations, suggesting that closure primarily affects the inhibition of distractors, and to a lesser extent the selection of the target. In addition, a drift–diffusion model analysis of our data revealed that efficient distractor inhibition expedites the rate of evidence accumulation, with closure in distractors particularly speeding the drift toward the decision boundary. In sum, our findings demonstrate that the CSE in Kanizsa figures derives primarily from the inhibition of closed distractor objects, rather than being driven by a conspicuous target configuration. Altogether, these results support a fundamental role of inhibition in driving configural superiority effects in visual search.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Visual search, Kanizsa figure, Configural superiority, Inhibition, Drift–diffusion model
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 12:00
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:22


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