This study aimed at determining the facilitator effect of the global organisation of the scene on the semantic categorisation of an object, in two experiments.
In experiment 1, three types of primes were used: a control prime (a uniform gray), a low-pass filtering of the scene, and the normal scene. The 128 objects were repeated in two blocks where types of prime and prime duration (200, 800 ms) were varied. Results of the 40 participants showed a priming effect on RT (-108 ms) restricted to the long duration of normal primes.
In experiment 2, familiarity of the primes was increased by adding three preliminary blocks where the task was a semantic categorisation of the scenes (block 1), of the low-pass filtered scenes (block 2), and of the filtered scene plus the objects (block 3). Block 4 was a replication of Experiment 1, except that normal scenes were removed. Results of block 4 showed this time a priming effect of the object by the global organisation, whatever the duration. Taken together, the experiments showed that the global organisation could help the categorisation of an object, insofar as a representation of the scene is available.