Processing images in a masked BE paradigm: Does emotion matter?
63.41, Wednesday, May 15, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Orchid Ballroom
Aisha P Siddiqui1, Benjamin McDunn1, James M. Brown1; 1Department of Psychology, University of Georgia
Boundary extension (BE) is a ubiquitous phenomenon in which people misremember an image as having more information than was previously displayed, so much so that boundary extension even occurs with abstract images on a random dot background (VSS, Siddiqui et al. 2012, 2011). Intraub and Dickinson (2008) have shown that BE can occur when images are visible for as little as 250 ms and followed by a pattern mask. In their study, the pattern mask included a happy face in the center of it, serving as an orienting stimulus. Research on emotional processing suggests emotional stimuli are processed more quickly by the visual system (Globisch, Hamm, Esteves, & Ohman, 2003). The current study tested whether BE would be found using abstract images in a similar masking paradigm and also to determine whether the presentation of a happy face concurrent with the mask facilitated processing of the scene. Encoding time was always 250 ms per image. In separate experiments a 46 ms and a 250 ms pattern mask followed each image before memory was tested. The presence, or absence, of an emotional or neutral orienting stimulus with the mask was compared for the two mask durations. The results showed equivalent BE for the conditions with a happy face, neutral face, or a neutral object at each mask duration. Only at the 46 ms duration was there any indication of reduced BE when there was no orienting stimulus in the mask. If we view BE as an error in processing, our results indicate that during the mask interval with an orienting stimulus, or without an orienting stimulus at a long duration, processing is disrupted leading to BE. However, for a short duration mask without an orienting stimulus processing is disrupted less leading to reduced BE.