Pomè, A., Anobile, G., Cicchini, G. M. & Burr, D. C. (2019).
Different reaction-times for subitizing, estimation, and texture.
Journal of Vision, 6 (19), 14.
Humans can estimate and encode numerosity over a large range, from very few items to several hundreds. Two distinct mechanisms have been proposed: subitizing, for numbers up to four and estimation for larger numerosities. We have recently extended this idea by suggesting that for very densely packed arrays, when items are less segregable, a third "texture" mechanism comes into play. In this study, we provide further evidence for the existence of a third regime for numerosity. Reaction times were very low in the subitizing range, rising rapidly for numerosities greater than four. However, for tightly packed displays of very high numerosities, reaction times became faster. These results reinforce the idea of three regimes in the processing of numerosity, subitizing, estimation, and texture.