feature integration theory

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A theory first presented in 1977 and 1980 by the US-based English psychologist Anne (Marie) Treisman (born 1935) and colleagues according to which features (1) of a stimulus such as colour and shape are analysed separately and only later integrated in the process of perception. Indirect evidence for this comes from experiments showing that, without attention, features are often incorrectly bound, giving rise to illusory conjunctions, and that a red square hidden among blue squares can be detected just as quickly if it is hidden among 20 blue squares as among 10 blue squares, but the time taken to detect a red square hidden among blue squares and red triangles increases with the number of distractor items. See also binding problem, conjunction search, conjunctive concept. Compare feature detection theory.

Subjects: Psychology.

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