Summary: Psychological Review
1996, Vol. 103, No- 1,165-192
Copyright 1996 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.
A Formal Theory of Feature Binding in Object Perception
F. Gregory Ashby
University of California at Santa Barbara
William Prinzmetal and Richard Ivry
University of California at Berkeley
Arizona State University
Visual objects are perceived correctly only if their features are identified and then bound together.
Illusory conjunctions result when feature identification is correct but an error occurs during feature
binding. A new model is proposed that assumes feature binding errorsoccur because of uncertainty
about the location of visual features. This model accounted for data from 2 new experiments better
than a model derived from A. M. Treisman and H. Schmidt's (1982) feature integration theory.
The traditional method for detecting the occurrence of true illusory conjunctions is shown to be
fundamentally flawed. A reexamination of 2 previous studies provided new insights into the role of
attention and location information in object perception and a reinterpretation of the deficits in
patients who exhibit attentional disorders.