Randomness impacts the building of specific priors, visual exploration, and perception in object recognition

Gal, Cécile, Țincaș, Ioana, Moca, Vasile V., Ciuparu, Andrei, Dan, Emanuela L., Smith, Marie L., Gliga, Teodora and Mureșan, Raul C. (2024) Randomness impacts the building of specific priors, visual exploration, and perception in object recognition. Scientific Reports, 14. ISSN 2045-2322

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Recognising objects is a vital skill on which humans heavily rely to respond quickly and adaptively to their environment. Yet, we lack a full understanding of the role visual information sampling plays in this process, and its relation to the individual’s priors. To bridge this gap, the eye-movements of 18 adult participants were recorded during a free-viewing object-recognition task using Dots stimuli1. Participants viewed the stimuli in one of three orders: from most visible to least (Descending), least visible to most (Ascending), or in a randomised order (Random). This dictated the strength of their priors along the experiment. Visibility order influenced the participants’ recognition performance and visual exploration. In addition, we found that while orders allowing for stronger priors generally led participants to visually sample more informative locations, this was not the case of Random participants. Indeed, they appeared to behave naïvely, and their use of specific object-related priors was fully impaired, while they maintained the ability to use general, task-related priors to guide their exploration. These findings have important implications for our understanding of perception, which appears to be influenced by complex cognitive processes, even at the basic level of visual sampling during object recognition.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was funded by a European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral Grant No 721895, a postdoctoral Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund grant distributed by Birkbeck, University of London, a NO (Norway) Grant 2014-2021, under project contract number 20/2020 (RO-NO-2019-0504), three grants from the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS-UEFISCDI (codes ERA-NET-FLAG-ERA-ModelDXConsciousness, ERANET-NEURON-2-UnscrAMBLY, and GAMMA-CXCD code PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2021-0709), and a H2020 grant funded by the European Commission (grant agreement 952096, NEUROTWIN).
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Developmental Science
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2024 15:30
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 13:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/94903
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-024-59089-1


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