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The analysis of orientation-dependent time costs in visual recognition

, : The analysis of orientation-dependent time costs in visual recognition. Perception 27(7): 803-816

How does the visual system recognise stimuli presented at different orientations? According to the multiple-views hypothesis, misoriented objects are matched to one of several orientation-specific representations of the same objects stored in long-term memory. Much of the evidence for this hypothesis comes from the observation of group mean orientation effects in recognition memory tasks showing that the time taken to identify objects increases as a function of the angular distance between the orientation of the stimulus and its nearest familiar orientation The aim in this paper is to examine the validity of this interpretation of group mean orientation effects. In particular, it is argued that analyses based on group performance averages that appear consistent with the multiple-views hypothesis may, under certain circumstances, obscure a different theoretically relevant underlying pattern of results. This problem is examined by using hypothetical data and through the detailed analysis of the results from an experiment based on a recognition memory task used in several previous studies. Although a pattern of results that is consistent with the multiple-views hypothesis was observed in both the group mean performance and the underlying data, it is argued that the potential limitations of analyses based solely on group performance averages must be considered in future studies that use orientation effects to make inferences about the kinds of shape representations that mediate visual recognition.


PMID: 10209643

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