Priming of Simple and Complex Scene Layout: Rapid Function From the Intermediate Level

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Three experiments examined the time course of layout priming with photographic scenes varying in complexity (number of objects). Primes were presented for varying durations (800-50 ms) before a target scene with 2 spatial probes; observers indicated whether the left or right probe was closer to viewpoint. Reaction time was the main measure. Scene primes provided maximum benefits with 200 ms or less prime duration, indicating that scene priming is rapid enough to influence everyday distance perception. The time course of prime processing was similar for simple and complex scene primes and for upright and inverted primes, suggesting that the prime representation was intermediate level in nature.

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