Global and local vision in natural scene identification

Psychon Bull Rev. 2011 Oct;18(5):840-7. doi: 10.3758/s13423-011-0133-6.


The results of previous studies have suggested that to optimize the decoding of visual information, global contents of a scene are analyzed before local features (global precedence hypothesis). Evidence supporting this hypothesis has been provided for identification of characters, faces, hybrid stimuli, and simple objects. In the present study, we examined identification of high- and low-pass filtered natural pictures. Despite the radical differences in the type of information conveyed by global and local features, confident and accurate identification was achieved on the basis of either kind of information when an intermediate range of spatial frequencies was preserved. The present data are consistent with the notion of global precedence in scene identification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychometrics
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult