Neither here nor there : localizing conflicting visual attributes

P.V. Mcgraw, D. Whitaker, David Badcock, J. Skillen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Natural visual scenes are a rich source of information. Objects often carry luminance, colour, motion, depth and textural cues, each of which can serve to aid detection and localization of the object within a scene. Contemporary neuroscience presumes a modular approach to visual analysis in which each of these attributes are processed within ostensibly independent visual streams and are transmitted to geographically distinct and functionally dedicated centres in visual cortex (van Essen Maunsell, 1983; ZihI, von Cramon Mai, 1983; Maunsell Newsome, 1987; Tootell, Hadjikhani, Mendola, Marrett & Dale, 1998). In the present study we ask how the visual system localizes objects within this framework. Specifically, we investigate how the visual system assigns a unitary location to objects defined by multiple stimulus attributes, where such attributes provide conflicting positional cues. The results show that conflicting sources of visual information can be effortlessly combined to form a global estimate of spatial position, yet, this conflation of visual attributes is achieved at a cost to localization accuracy. Furthermore, our results suggest that the visual system assigns more perceptual weight (Landy, 1993; Landy & Kojima, 2001) to visual attributes which are reliably related to object contours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-273
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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