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Psychological Science 22(3) 384392

Summary: Psychological Science
22(3) 384392
The Author(s) 2011
Reprints and permission:
DOI: 10.1177/0956797610397956
Observers can quickly and accurately compute ensemble sta-
tistics about a display, such as the mean size (Ariely, 2001;
Chong & Treisman, 2003), orientation (Parkes, Lund, Angelucci,
Solomon, & Morgan, 2001), and location (Alvarez & Oliva,
2008) of the items; the mean expression of a set of faces
(Haberman & Whitney, 2007); and even higher-level spatial
layout statistics (Alvarez & Oliva, 2009). However, little work
has explored why observers compute these statistics and, in
particular, whether the encoding of these higher-order statis-
tics might play a role in how observers represent the individual
items from such displays in memory.
Nearly all studies of visual working memory use displays
consisting of simple stimuli and items that have been chosen


Source: Alvarez, George A. - Department of Psychology, Harvard University
Oliva, Aude - Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences