The proposed research primarily concerns perception of, and memory for visual material. It secondarily concerns theoretical, methodological, statistical, and data-presentation issues, with an ultimate goal of substantially changing how research problems are conceptualized and how data sets are thought about, analyzed, and interpreted. Seven broad research topics are proposed. The first five concern investigations of, (1) stimulus contrast effects on visual perception and memory in both children and adults, (2) processing of and memory for visual stimuli, particularly faces, decomposed into high and low spatial frequencies, (3) several aspects of face processing including the face-inversion effect, the concept of """"""""configural"""""""" versus """"""""featural"""""""" processing, and the difference between processing of familiar versus unfamiliar faces, (4) the relation between an observer's confidence in some memory and that memory's accuracy, and (5) acquisition of information across eye fixations. The two last, more general, aims are, (6) testing specific, quantitative theories of a variety of visual-perception and visual-memory processes; and (7) trying to re-direct the field of psychology (and other fields) with respect to a number of theoretical, statistical, and data-processing issues. Data and theory about normal visual processing provide a foundation for isolating causes of, and guiding solutions to abnormal or suboptimal visual processing. Suppose, for example, that an individual complains that he or she """"""""just can't seem to keep up with what's happening in a complex visual environment."""""""" What is causing this problem? Is it, for example, simply a slowing of initial information acquisition (as could happen, e.g., as a result of clouding of the eye's lens with aging)? Is it a lack of ability to use appropriate contextual information to guide processing? Is it a lack of ability to manipulate acquired visual information in short-term memory? Similarly, there are face-processing deficits in several kinds of clinical populations. For example, autistics are known to have poor ability to discern facial expression, and to localize faces in complex scenes. This deficit is reflected in abnormal eye-movement patterns, and may be similarly manifest in other observable ways such as use of non-optimal spatial-frequency regions for face processing tasks. The proposed research-particularly the majority of it that is concerned with face processing -will provide empirical and theoretical bases, along with a variety of experimental procedures that are necessary for investigating such deficits. Finally, the proposed work on theory, methodology, statistics, and data interpretation is applicable to virtually every aspect of research in experimental psychology, clinical psychology, and neuroscience.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-H (02))
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Kurtzman, Howard S
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University of Washington
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Franz, Volker H; Loftus, Geoffrey R (2012) Standard errors and confidence intervals in within-subjects designs: generalizing Loftus and Masson (1994) and avoiding the biases of alternative accounts. Psychon Bull Rev 19:395-404
Reinitz, Mark Tippens; S├ęguin, Julie Anne; Peria, William et al. (2012) Confidence-accuracy relations for faces and scenes: roles of features and familiarity. Psychon Bull Rev 19:1085-93
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Reinitz, Mark Tippens; Peria, William J; Seguin, Julie Anne et al. (2011) Different confidence-accuracy relationships for feature-based and familiarity-based memories. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 37:507-15
De Cesarei, Andrea; Loftus, Geoffrey R (2011) Global and local vision in natural scene identification. Psychon Bull Rev 18:840-7
Loftus, Geoffrey R (2010) What can a perception-memory expert tell a jury? Psychon Bull Rev 17:143-8
Bernstein, Daniel M; Harley, Erin M (2007) Fluency misattribution and visual hindsight bias. Memory 15:548-60
Bernstein, Daniel M; Atance, Cristina; Meltzoff, Andrew N et al. (2007) Hindsight bias and developing theories of mind. Child Dev 78:1374-94
Busey, Thomas A; Loftus, Geoffrey R (2007) Cognitive science and the law. Trends Cogn Sci 11:111-7
Bernstein, Daniel M; Loftus, Geoffrey R; Meltzoff, Andrew N (2005) Object identification in preschool children and adults. Dev Sci 8:151-61

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