Fractionating the binding process: neuropsychological evidence distinguishing binding of form from binding of surface features.
Humphreys GW., Cinel C., Wolfe J., Olson A., Klempen N.
We present neuropsychological evidence demonstrating that the binding of form elements into shapes dissociates from the binding of surface detail to shape. Data are reported from a patient with bilateral parietal lesions, GK, who manifests left-side visual extinction along with many illusory conjunctions when asked to discriminate both surface and form information about stimuli. We show that there are effects of grouping on both extinction and illusory conjunctions when the tasks require report of object shape. In contrast, illusory conjunctions involving surface and form information were unaffected by grouping based on shape. In addition, grouping was stronger when forms were presented within the same hemifield than when they appeared in different hemifields, whilst illusory conjunctions of form and colour occurred equally often within and across hemifields. These results support a two-stage account of visual binding: form elements are first bound together locally into shapes, and this is followed by a second stage of binding in which shapes are integrated with surface details. The second but not the first stage of binding is impaired in this patient.