In everyday life, we are generally able to dynamically understand and adapt to socially
(ir)elevant encounters, and to make appropriate decisions about these. All of this requires an impressive
ability to directly filter and obtain the most informative aspects of a complex visual scene. Such rapid
gist perception can be assessed in multiple ways. In the ultrafast categorization paradigm developed
by Simon Thorpe et al. (1996), participants get a clear categorization task in advance and succeed
at detecting the target object of interest (animal) almost perfectly (even with 20 ms exposures).
Since this pioneering work, follow-up studies consistently reported population-level reaction time
differences on different categorization tasks, indicating a superordinate advantage (animal versus
dog) and effects of perceptual similarity (animals versus vehicles) and object category size (natural
versus animal versus dog). In this study, we replicated and extended these separate findings by using
a systematic collection of different categorization tasks (varying in presentation time, task demands,
and stimuli) and focusing on individual differences in terms of e.g., gender and intelligence. In addition
to replicating the main findings from the literature, we find subtle, yet consistent gender differences
(women faster than men).