Sigurdardottir HM, Michalak SM, Sheinberg DL (2014). Shape beyond recognition: Form-derived directionality and its effects on visual attention and motion perception, J Exp Psychol...

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Sigurdardottir HM, Michalak SM, Sheinberg DL (2014). Shape beyond recognition: Form-derived directionality and its effects on visual attention and motion perception, J Exp Psychol: General, 143(1), 434-454. [ DOI: 10.1037/a0032353.]

Abstract

The shape of an object restricts its movements and therefore its future location. The rules governing selective sampling of the environment likely incorporate any available data, including shape, that provide information about where important things are going to be in the near future so that the object can be located, tracked, and sampled for information. We asked people to assess in which direction several novel objects pointed or directed them. With independent groups of people, we investigated whether their attention and sense of motion were systematically biased in this direction. Our work shows that nearly any novel object has intrinsic directionality derived from its shape. This shape information is swiftly and automatically incorporated into the allocation of overt and covert visual orienting and the detection of motion, processes that themselves are inherently directional. The observed connection between form and space suggests that shape processing goes beyond recognition alone and may help explain why shape is a relevant dimension throughout the visual brain.

Caplovitz GP, Shapiro AG, Stroud S (2011). The maintenance and disambiguation of object representations depend upon feature contrast within and between objects... 

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Caplovitz GP, Shapiro AG, Stroud S (2011). The maintenance and disambiguation of object representations depend upon feature contrast within and between objects. Journal of Vision, 11(14). pii: 1 (2011).

Abstract

The brain processes many aspects of the visual world separately and in parallel, yet we perceive a unified world populated by objects. In order to create such a "bound" percept, the visual system must construct object-centered representations out of separate features and then maintain the representations across changes in space and time. Here, we examine the role of features themselves in maintaining and disambiguating the representations of the objects to which they belong. In three experiments, we measure how the perceived motion of two objects traversing ambiguous trajectories is affected by the contrast between the features and surrounding fields, by the contrast between features, and by changes to orientation of texture within objects. We report that the maintenance and disambiguation of object representations depend on the contrast of the features relative to their surrounds and on the extent of feature differences between the two objects. These feature dependencies indicate that object representation relies on relative response to many stimulus dimensions.