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Perceptual-binding and persistent surface segregation

Moradi F, Shimojo S.


Visual input is segregated in the brain into subsystems that process different attributes such as motion and color. At the same time, visual information is perceptually segregated into objects and surfaces. Here we demonstrate that perceptual segregation of visual entities based on a transparency cue precedes and affects perceptual binding of attributes. Adding an irrelevant transparency cue paradoxically improved the pairing of color and motion for rapidly alternating surfaces. Subsequent experiments show: (1) Attributes are registered over the temporal window defined by the perceptual persistence of segregation, resulting in asynchrony in binding, and (2) attention is necessary for correct registration of attributes in the presence of ambiguity.