The representational dynamics of visual objects in rapid serial visual processing streams

Tijl Grootswagers*, Amanda K. Robinson, Thomas A. Carlson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    In our daily lives, we are bombarded with a stream of rapidly changing visual input. Humans have the remarkable capacity to detect and identify objects in fast-changing scenes. Yet, when studying brain representations, stimuli are generally presented in isolation. Here, we studied the dynamics of human vision using a combination of fast stimulus presentation rates, electroencephalography and multivariate decoding analyses. Using a presentation rate of 5 images per second, we obtained the representational structure of a large number of stimuli, and showed the emerging abstract categorical organisation of this structure. Furthermore, we could separate the temporal dynamics of perceptual processing from higher-level target selection effects. In a second experiment, we used the same paradigm at 20Hz to show that shorter image presentation limits the categorical abstraction of object representations. Our results show that applying multivariate pattern analysis to every image in rapid serial visual processing streams has unprecedented potential for studying the temporal dynamics of the structure of representations in the human visual system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)668-679
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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