Facilitation of performance on a picture fragment completion test: Data-driven potentiation in perception
AdvisorPeterson, Mary A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA technique commonly used to study the structure of memory entails preceding a task by a brief masked presentation of a potentially relevant stimulus. In two experiments, I examined the type of facilitation obtained on a picture fragment completion task by prior presentation of either the name of the completed object, a complete picture of the object, or the fragment itself. In Experiment 1a significantly more ambiguous picture fragments (i.e. fragments supporting a number of interpretations) were identified after exposure to pictures than to picture names or picture fragments. Experiment 1b verified that the information in the masked primes was not available to conscious awareness. These results suggest that under limited encoding conditions only bottom-up activation provided by prior presentation of the fragments aids shape recognition under degraded conditions. Implications for the structures and processes involved in shape recognition are discussed.