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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The role of color and attention-to-color in mirror-symmetry perception
Authors: Gheorghiu, Elena
Kingdom, Frederick A A
Remkes, Aaron
Li, Hyung-Chul O
Rainville, Stephane
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Keywords: mirror symmetry
luminance polarity
probability summation
Issue Date: 11-Jul-2016
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
Citation: Gheorghiu E, Kingdom FAA, Remkes A, Li HO & Rainville S (2016) The role of color and attention-to-color in mirror-symmetry perception, Scientific Reports, 6, Art. No.: 29287.
Abstract: The role of color in the visual perception of mirror-symmetry is controversial. Some reports support the existence of color-selective mirror-symmetry channels, others that mirror-symmetry perception is merely sensitive to color-correlations across the symmetry axis. Here we test between the two ideas. Stimuli consisted of colored Gaussian-blobs arranged either mirror-symmetrically or quasi-randomly. We used four arrangements: (1)‘segregated’ – symmetric blobs were of one color, random blobs of the other color(s); (2)‘random-segregated’ – as above but with the symmetric color randomly selected on each trial; (3)‘non-segregated’ – symmetric blobs were of all colors in equal proportions, as were the random blobs; (4)‘anti-symmetric’ – symmetric blobs were of opposite-color across the symmetry axis. We found: (a) near-chance levels for the anti-symmetric condition, suggesting that symmetry perception is sensitive to color-correlations across the symmetry axis; (b) similar performance for random-segregated and non-segregated conditions, giving no support to the idea that mirror-symmetry is color selective; (c) highest performance for the color-segregated condition, but only when the observer knew beforehand the symmetry color, suggesting that symmetry detection benefits from color-based attention. We conclude that mirror-symmetry detection mechanisms, while sensitive to color-correlations across the symmetry axis and subject to the benefits of attention-to-color, are not color selective
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Affiliation: Psychology
McGill University
University of Stirling
Kwangwoon University
VizirLabs Consulting

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