Holcombe A O, Judson J, 2007, "Visual binding of English and Chinese word parts is limited to low temporal frequencies" Perception 36(1) 49 – 74
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Visual binding of English and Chinese word parts is limited to low temporal frequencies
Alex O Holcombe, Jeff Judson
Received 19 August 2005, in revised form 26 January 2006; published online 5 January 2007
Abstract. Some perceptual mechanisms manifest high temporal precision, allowing reports of visual information even when that information is restricted to windows smaller than 50 ms. Other visual judgments are limited to much coarser time scales. What about visual information extracted at late processing stages, for which we nonetheless have perceptual expertise, such as words? Here, the temporal limits on binding together visual word parts were investigated. In one trial, either the word ‘ball’ was alternated with ‘deck’, or ‘dell’ was alternated with ‘back’, with all stimuli presented at fixation. These stimuli restrict the time scale of the rod identities because the two sets of alternating words form the same image at high alternation frequencies. Observers made a forced choice between the two alternatives. Resulting 75% thresholds are restricted to 5 Hz or less for words and nonword letter strings. A similar result was obtained in an analogous experiment with Chinese participants viewing alternating Chinese characters. These results support the theory that explicit perceptual access to visual information extracted at late stages is limited to coarse time scales.
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