Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The current study attempted to determine whether direct binding between objects in complex scenes occurs as a function of directed attention at encoding. In Experiment 1, participants viewed objects in one of these different types contexts: unique scenes, similar scenes, or arrays with no contextual information. Critically, only half of the objects were attended for each encoding trial. Participants then completed an associative recognition task on pairs of items created from the previously studied scenes. Test pairs consisted of two attended or unattended objects, and were associated with a unique scene, a similar scene, or an array. Evidence of binding for attended objects was clear. Associative recognition was better for attended pairs, relative to unattended pairs, regardless of the type of context in which the objects were studied. Object-context binding was not observed in memory for attended object pairs, but was observed for unattended object pairs. Experiment 2 explored the extent to which binding strength between object relationships varies as a function of temporal and/or spatial proximity. The procedure for Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1, with the exception that all of the objects in the encoding trials were attended. There were no significant main effects or interactions of spatial and temporal distance on binding strength, as measured by associative recognition.

Committee Chair

Sean Lane