The whole warps the sum of its parts: gestalt-defined-group mean size biases memory for individual objects
Corbett, J. E.
SAGE Publications Inc.
12 - 22
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Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/11693/37055
The efficiency of averaging properties of sets without encoding redundant details is analogous to gestalt proposals that perception is parsimoniously organized as a function of recurrent order in the world. This similarity suggests that grouping and averaging are part of a broader set of strategies allowing the visual system to circumvent capacity limitations. To examine how gestalt grouping affects the manner in which information is averaged and remembered, I compared the error in observers’ adjustments of remembered sizes of individual circles in two different mean-size sets defined by similarity, proximity, connectedness, or a common region. Overall, errors were more similar within the same gestalt-defined groups than between different gestalt-defined groups, such that the remembered sizes of individual circles were biased toward the mean size of their respective gestalt-defined groups. These results imply that gestalt grouping facilitates perceptual averaging to minimize the error with which individual items are encoded, thereby optimizing the efficiency of visual short-term memory. © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.