A Pool of Pairs of Related Objects (POPORO) for Investigating Visual Semantic Integration: Behavioral and Electrophysiological Validation
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Semantic processing of verbal and visual stimuli has been investigated in semantic violation or semantic priming paradigms in which a stimulus is either related or unrelated to a previously established semantic context. A hallmark of semantic priming is the N400 event-related potential (ERP)—a deflection of the ERP that is more negative for semantically unrelated target stimuli. The majority of studies investigating the N400 and semantic integration have used verbal material (words or sentences), and standardized stimulus sets with norms for semantic relatedness have been published for verbal but not for visual material. However, semantic processing of visual objects (as opposed to words) is an important issue in research on visual cognition. In this study, we present a set of 800 pairs of semantically related and unrelated visual objects. The images were rated for semantic relatedness by a sample of 132 participants. Furthermore, we analyzed low-level image properties and matched the two semantic categories according to these features. An ERP study confirmed the suitability of this image set for evoking a robust N400 effect of semantic integration. Additionally, using a general linear modeling approach of single-trial data, we also demonstrate that low-level visual image properties and semantic relatedness are in fact only minimally overlapping. The image set is available for download from the authors’ website. We expect that the image set will facilitate studies investigating mechanisms of semantic and contextual processing of visual stimuli.
KeywordsSemantic congruency Object recognition GLM N300 Similarity Shape matching
This study was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG; grant BU 2400/1-1).
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