Flexible time course of spatial frequency use during scene categorization

  • Human observers can quickly and accurately categorize scenes. This remarkable ability is related to the usage of information at different spatial frequencies (SFs) following a coarse-to-fine pattern: Low SFs, conveying coarse layout information, are thought to be used earlier than high SFs, representing more fine-grained information. Alternatives to this pattern have rarely been considered. Here, we probed all possible SF usage strategies randomly with high resolution in both the SF and time dimensions at two categorization levels. We show that correct basic-level categorizations of indoor scenes are linked to the sampling of relatively high SFs, whereas correct outdoor scene categorizations are predicted by an early use of high SFs and a later use of low SFs (fine-to-coarse pattern of SF usage). Superordinate-level categorizations (indoor vs. outdoor scenes) rely on lower SFs early on, followed by a shift to higher SFs and a subsequent shift back to lower SFs in late stages. In summary, our results show no consistent pattern of SF usage across tasks and only partially replicate the diagnostic SFs found in previous studies. We therefore propose that SF sampling strategies of observers differ with varying stimulus and task characteristics, thus favouring the notion of flexible SF usage.

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Author:Sandro L. Wiesmann, Laurent Caplette, Verena Willenbockel, Frédéric Gosselin, Melissa Lê-Hoa VõORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Scientific reports
Publisher:Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Place of publication:[London]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/07/07
Date of first Publication:2021/07/07
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/05/10
Tag:Human behaviour; Psychology
Issue:art. 14079
Page Number:13
First Page:1
Last Page:13
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
This work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)—Project Number 222641018—SFB/TRR 135, sub-project C7 to MLV.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0