A new response-time measure of object persistence in the tunnel effect

Yousuke Kawachi, Jiro Gyoba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The recognition of information about an object is facilitated by a preview of the information concerning that object. This facilitation is regarded as evidence for the representational persistence of the object. It is not known, however, if such facilitation is obtained even under the tunnel effect, in which a moving object is temporarily occluded. This facilitation may be a new way to measure the representational persistence of a moving object in the tunnel effect. We addressed this question by a "same-different" judgment task of a target symbol ("{ring operator}" or "+"), drawn within the moving object, before and after encountering the occluder. Response times (RTs) were shorter when the object reappeared with spatial continuity at the proper place than it reappeared at the improper place, as in Experiments 1 and 3. Thus, facilitation was obtained even in the tunnel effect. When the occluder was invisible and deletion/accretion cues along the contour of the occluder were either removed (Experiment 2) or given improperly (Experiment 4), no facilitation was found. These results clearly indicate that the facilitated recognition was caused by amodal integration of the persisting representation from the unoccluded and modal phases. The present study demonstrates that the facilitated recognition (RT measurement) can be used to investigate the representational persistence in the tunnel effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-90
Number of pages18
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept


  • Moving object
  • Representational persistence
  • Response time
  • Spatial continuity
  • Tunnel effect


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