Spatiotemporal priority as a fundamental principle of object persistence

Jonathan I. Flombaum, Brian J. Scholl and Laurie R. Santos

in The Origins of Object Knowledge

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199216895
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696039 | DOI:
Spatiotemporal priority as a fundamental principle of object persistence

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This problem of object persistence has been studied in several disciplines in cognitive science. In this chapter, the authors review the many contexts in which spatiotemporal priority drives computations of object persistence as the authors propose explanations at several levels for why spatiotemporal priority plays this dominant role. The principle of spatiotemporal priority describes a general solution to types of correspondence problems as it struggles with the many guises in visual cognition research — including the tunnel effect, apparent motion, illusory conjunctions, and object reviewing. This principle captures some of the primary features of the dominant ‘object file’ model of object persistence. It accounts for the perception of persisting objects not only in adult humans but also in infants and nonhuman primates. Lastly, the principle may have a firm foundation in both mechanistic and functional terms.

Keywords: object persistence; cognitive science; spatiotemporal priority; tunnel effect; apparent motion; illusory conjunctions; object reviewing; visual cognition; object file model

Chapter.  11354 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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