Cognitive Psychology: Distinctive Features or Feature Analysis Model


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Distinctive Features or Feature Analysis Model​

  • stimuli consist of combinations of elementary features; (e.g for the alphabet, features may include horizontal lines, vertical lines, diagonals, and curves)
  • make discriminations based on a small number of characteristics of stimuli
  • distinctive feature components stored in memory

Psychological Evidence: Gibson (1969)

  • decide whether or not two letters are different
  • takes longer to respond to P & R versus G & M
  • P & R share many critical features

Neurological Evidence: Hubel & Wiesel (1962)

  • microelectrodes in cats' brains (visual cortex)
  • some neurons respond only to horizontal lines, others to diagonals...
  • similar evidence in monkeys (Maunsell & Newsome, 1987)
  • certain feature detectors are 'wired' and help us identify features and simple patterns