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Percept ion & Psychophysics 1994, 55 (1), 11-27

Summary: Percept ion & Psychophysics
1994, 55 (1), 11-27
Categor i zat ion response t ime
wi th mul t idimensiona l st imul i
Uniuerst ty of Cal i fornia, Santa Barbara , Ca l i fornia
Categor i zat ion response t ime (R' i ) was exami ned in three separate exper iments, in each of whi ch
exempl ars var i ed on two physica l dimens ions . Three di f ferent types of st imul i were used: (1) hor i -
zontal and ver t ical l ine segments of vary ing length that were joined at an upper lef t comer ,
(2) rectangles of vary ing width and height , and (3) ci rcles or semici rcles of vary ing si ze wi th a
radial arm of vary ing or ientat ion. No ev idence was found that st imulus fami l iar i ty or the cate-
gory prototypes pl ayed any special role in determining categor i zat ion RT . Instead, RT decreased
wi th distance f rom the st imulus to the categor i zat ion dec ision bound.
The categor izat ion of objects is fundamental to human
informat ion processing and is requi red at some level by
near ly every perceptual or cogni t ive task. Categor izat ion
has long been studied, and historical ly the dependent var i -
able of pr imary interest has been response accuracy . A
few studies have examined response t ime (RT; see, e .g .,
Hyman & Frost , 1975) , but in most of these, the exem-


Source: Ashby, F. Gregory - Department of Psychology, University of California at Santa Barbara


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences