On the Reality of Illusory Conjunctions.


The reality of illusory conjunctions in perception has been sometimes questioned, arguing that they can be explained by other mechanisms. Most relevant experiments are based on migrations along the space dimension. But the low rate of illusory conjunctions along space can easily hide them among other types of errors. As migrations over time are a more frequent phenomenon, illusory conjunctions can be disentangled from other errors. We report an experiment in which series of colored letters were presented in several spatial locations, allowing for migrations over both space and time. The distribution of frequencies were fit by several multinomial tree models based on alternative hypothesis about illusory conjunctions and the potential sources of free-floating features. The best-fit model acknowledges that most illusory conjunctions are migrations in the time domain. Migrations in space are probably present, but the rate is very low. Other conjunction errors, as those produced by guessing or miscategorizations of the to-be-reported feature, are also present in the experiment. The main conclusion is that illusory conjunctions do exist.

DOI: 10.1080/00221309.2017.1299677

Cite this paper

@article{Botella2017OnTR, title={On the Reality of Illusory Conjunctions.}, author={Juan Botella and Manuel Suero and Juan I Dur{\'a}n}, journal={The Journal of general psychology}, year={2017}, volume={144 3}, pages={187-205} }