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Observers responded to full-color images of scenes by indicating which of two critical objects was closer in the pictorial space. These target images were preceded by prime images of the same scene sans critical objects, or by control primes or different-scene primes. Reaction times were faster following same-scene primes than following the various control and different-scene primes. Same-scene facilitation was obtained with color primes, line-drawing primes, and primes with shifted views. The effect occurred with natural scenes having gist and simple artificial scenes having little or no gist. The results indicate that prime-induced representations influence the perception of spatial layout in pictures.
Psychological Science © 1997 Association for Psychological Science