Familiarity and Scene Understanding

Undergraduate Just-In-Time Abstract

Poster Presentation 43.360: Monday, May 22, 2023, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, Banyan Breezeway
Session: Undergraduate Just-In-Time 2

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Bridget Meighan1, Elissa Aminoff1; 1Fordham University

There is little knowledge about the processes behind rapid scene understanding, but it is accepted that previous experience helps alleviate the burden of visual processing. Furthermore, studies have shown that prior experience modulates our visual perception within a second. From our understanding of familiarity on rapid scene understanding, what effect does familiarity have on the perception of similar scenes? In this experiment, 51 participants from the Fordham University Rose Hill (RH) campus were shown a paradigm of 141 picture pairs of the familiar RH campus and the unfamiliar University of Maryland College Park (UMD) campus. There are three conditions: the same, similar, and different picture pairs. We hypothesized that the results would indicate that familiarity hinders the ability to distinguish that similar scenes are different, with Fordham students having less accurate responses for the similar RH pictures compared to the similar UMD pictures. The results from a two-way ANOVA indicated a significant interaction between the effects of campus and condition for the percent accuracy [F(1,1) = 8.009, p = 0.007] and average response time [F(1,1) = 4.386, p = 0.041]. The interaction displayed a higher percent accuracy for the same condition compared to the similar condition for RH pictures, and the opposite occurs for the UMD pictures. The results support that familiarity hinders the ability to distinguish that similar scenes are different, aligning with the proposed mechanism that familiar scenes have more gist processing to help alleviate the burden of visual processing compared to novel scenes.

Acknowledgements: Fordham University Undergraduate Research Grant