Washington: Even when we need to focus on just one dimension of an object, our eyes tend to take not of several others like color, texture, and luminance, whether we want to or not, says a new research.
The study by the researchers at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania points to the ability of our visual system to integrate multiple components of an item while underscoring the difficulty we have in focusing on a particular aspect of it.
Senior author Professor Michael Landy explained that when a visual task becomes difficult, we find that humans cannot ignore a visual dimension even if it harms their performance.
The researchers note that the findings point to the challenges faced by medical practitioners and airport screeners, who examine overlapping objects, through x-rays and security scanners readings, possibly outlined by different hues or brightness.
The study focused on selective attention to specific visual aspects of an object, such as its color or texture.
In a series of experiments, the researchers sought to determine under which conditions the ability to account for multiple aspects of an item aided object recognition and under which this ability served as a distraction.
These results, the researchers concluded, show that our ability to combine dimensions to improve object identification prevents us from ignoring a dimension when that is what our task requires.
The study appears in the journal Current Biology.