Computation, Cognition, and Pylyshyn by Don Dedrick, Lana Trick

By Don Dedrick, Lana Trick

A set of state of the art paintings on cognition and a party of a foundational determine within the box.

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What mechanism makes this possible? If it were to be done using some description of each object it would have to be a process that encodes each object’s location, since location is the only property that distinguishes one object from the other at a particular point in time. Such a process would have to use focal attention; a reasonable assumption from previous work on attention is that objects must be attended in order for their properties to be encoded. So a possible tracking strategy would be to keep a record of objects’ locations and visit them serially to update their location with each iteration until the end of the trial.

In the top display the target differs from all the nontargets by one feature, whereas in the bottom display, a combination of two features is required to distinguish the target. The second item of particular relevance to the present discussion was the additional finding that when we systematically increased the distance between precued items there was no increase in search time per item, contrary to what one would expect if subset items were being spatially searched for. This is precisely what one would expect if the cued items are indexed and indexes are used to access the items directly, without having to scan the display.

According to our explanation of the subitizing phenomenon, small sets are enumerated faster than large sets when items are preattentively individuated because in that case each item attracts an index, so observers only need to count the number of active indexes without having to first search for the items. Thus we also predicted that precueing the location of preattentively individuated items would not affect the speed at which they were subitized, though it would affect counting larger numbers of items—a prediction borne out by our experiments.

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