An attentional bias for LEGO® people using a change detection task: Are LEGO® people animate? Academic Article uri icon

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  • Animate objects have been shown to elicit attentional priority in a change detection task. This benefit has been seen for both human and nonhuman animals compared with inanimate objects. One explanation for these results has been based on the importance animate objects have served over the course of our species' history. In the present set of experiments, we present stimuli, which could be perceived as animate, but with which our distant ancestors would have had no experience, and natural selection could have no direct pressure on their prioritization. In the first experiment, we compared LEGO® "people" with LEGO "nonpeople" in a change detection task. In a second experiment, we attempt to control the heterogeneity of the nonanimate objects by using LEGO blocks, matched in size and colour to LEGO people. In the third experiment, we occlude the faces of the LEGO people to control for facial pattern recognition. In the final 2 experiments, we attempt to obscure high-level categorical information processing of the stimuli by inverting and blurring the scenes. (PsycINFO Database Record


  • LaPointe, Mitchell RP
  • Cullen, Rachael
  • Baltaretu, Bianca
  • Campos, Melissa
  • Michalski, Natalie
  • Sri Satgunarajah, Suja
  • Cadieux, Michelle L
  • Pachai, Matthew V
  • Shore, David I

publication date

  • September 2016