Multidimensional representation of objects—The influence of task demands

L. Goldfarb, K. Sabah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In our daily life, we often encounter situations in which different features of several multidimensional objects must be perceived simultaneously. There are two types of environments of this kind: environments with multidimensional objects that have unique feature associations, and environments with multidimensional objects that have mixed feature associations. Recently, we (Goldfarb & Treisman, 2013) described the association effect, suggesting that the latter type causes behavioral perception difficulties. In the present study, we investigated this effect further by examining whether the effect is determined via a feedforward visual path or via a high-order task demand component. In order to test this question, in Experiment 1 a set of multidimensional objects were presented while we manipulated the letter case of a target feature, thus creating a visually different but semantically equivalent object, in terms of its identity. Similarly, in Experiment 2 artificial groups with different physical properties were created according to the task demands. The results indicated that the association effect is determined by the task demands, which create the group of reference. The importance of high-order task demand components in the association effect is further discussed, as well as the possible role of the neural synchrony of object files in explaining this effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-411
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Psychonomic Society, Inc.


  • Feature binding
  • Neural synchrony
  • Object file theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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