Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Feature Integration Theory
Despite the apparently indisputable observation that we perceive a world of coherent objects in which the visual characteristics of each object are bound together, feature integration theory (FIT) is based on a rather contrary set of assumptions. The original theory was proposed by Anne Treisman and Garry Gelade in 1980 and was based on the view that the different visual characteristics of a given object are treated independently of each other within the brain. Accordingly, the human visual system invokes a complex divide-and-conquer set of operations whereby the different visual characteristics are dealt with by different neural systems. The visual properties of objects are defined relative to corresponding visual dimensions. For example, an object's size, color, shape, and motion (i.e., the visual features) are specified as values on corresponding dimensions, such as a large, yellow taxi moving away. Within the theory, the color, shape, size, and motion of the taxi ...