Is meaning implicated in illusory conjunctions?

Robert A. Virzi, Howard E Egeth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Examined the incorrect joining of 2 or more features from separate items in an array to create new, unpresented items (illusory conjunction), based on A. Triesman and H. Schmidt's (see record 1982-07512-001) previous research. The present authors conducted 2 experiments with 18 undergraduates, using displays containing color names and adjectives printed in colored ink. Possible word-to-ink, ink-to-word, and perceptual conjunction errors are discussed. In both experiments, Ss studied an array of words and digits and reported the word-in-ink combinations they were confident they saw. Results indicate a greater-than-chance occurrence of perceptual conjunction errors, due to confusion about whether a particular representation had been extracted from a word or a color patch. Word naming ink colors were reported as ink colors more often than expected by chance, suggesting that, contrary to feature-integration theory, illusory conjunctions may occur with high-level codes as well as perceptual features. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • perceptual conjunction errors, illusory conjunctions, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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