Author (Your Name)

Linsey Walker, Colby College

Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)

Department

Colby College. Psychology Dept.

Advisor(s)

(unknown)

Abstract

Categorization of animals and vehicles in different contexts was investigated in three experiments using event related potentials (ERPs). The presence of a background and congruency of the background in relation to the object were both manipulated in order to determine the effects of context on visual processing. In Experiment 1, adults were presented with images of animals and vehicles in two conditions: situated in a congruent context (e.g. an animal in a field) and in the absence of a context (an animal in a white homogeneous background). In experiment 2, adults were presented with images of animals and vehicles in two conditions: situated a congruent context, and situated in an incongruent context (e.g. an animal in a parking lot). Experiment 3 served as a control, in order to test for effects of the images in the incongruent condition having been computer-graphically manipulated and therefore looking less natural than the images in the congruent condition. Latencies of N170, N250 and P300 components were analyzed in different brain regions. The findings show that processing of animals and vehicles is facilitated by the presence of a context and the congruency of the context.

Keywords

Perception -- Testing, Memory -- Testing, Categorization (Psychology) -- Testing