The Matter and Mechanisms of Integration
The visual world appears phenomenally as a stable, connected whole. Yet it is served up in a piecemeal fashion, one visual snapshot at a time. This has led quite naturally to the hypothesis that a spatially coherent picture of the whole is constructed from separate snapshots by aligning the snapshots spatiotopically and then integrating the information from the separate snapshots at each spatial location (e.g., Jonides, Irwin, & Yantis, 1982; McConkie & Rayner, 1976; Trehub, 1977). If the above “snapshot” hypothesis is true, then one should find the following: Specifically, suppose that on fixation n information is presented in the periphery at a given spatiotopic location and on fixation n+1 the eye foveates the (possibly different) information presented at the same spatiotopic location. Then, the information presented in the periphery on fixation n (the previewed information) ought to have an influence on the processing of the information presented to the fovea on fixation n+1 (the target information). This follows because the spatiotopic coordinates of the peripheral (previewed) and subsequent foveal (target) information are identical and therefore by hypothesis this information is integrated.
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