Detection and identification of change in naturalistic scenes

Stephen Mondy*, Veronika Coltheart

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Research using change detection paradigms has demonstrated that only limited scene information remains available for conscious report following initial inspection of a scene. Previous researchers have found higher change identification rates for deletions of parts of objects in line drawings of scenes than additions. Other researchers, however, have found an asymmetry in the opposite direction for addition/deletion of whole objects in line drawings of scenes. Experiment 1 investigated subjects' accuracy in detecting and identifying changes made to successive views of high quality photographs of naturalistic scenes that involved the addition and deletion of objects, colour changes to objects, and changes to the spatial location of objects. Identification accuracy for deletions from scenes was highest, with lower identification rates for object additions and colour changes, and the lowest rates for identification of location changes. Data further suggested that change identification rates for the presence/absence of objects were a function of the number of identical items present in the scene. Experiment 2 examined this possibility further, and also investigated whether the higher identification rates for deletions found in Experiment 1 were found for changes involving whole objects or parts of objects. Results showed higher identification rates for deletions, but only where a unique object was deleted from a scene. The presence of an identical object in the scene abolished this deletion identification advantage. Results further showed that the deletion/addition asymmetry occurs both when the objects are parts of a larger object and when they are entire objects in the scene.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)281-296
    Number of pages16
    JournalVisual Cognition
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000


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