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Spatial updating and spatial properties in scene recognition


Zavodni LFG, Campos,  J
Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Chan, G., Zavodni LFG, Campos, J., Kok, Y., & Sun, H. (2005). Spatial updating and spatial properties in scene recognition. Poster presented at Fifth Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS 2005), Sarasota, FL, USA.

When an observer's viewpoint of an object layout changes as a result of the movement of the layout itself, recognition performance is often poor. When the viewpoint change results from the observer's own movement, visual and non-visual information may serve to update the spatial representation, resulting in better recognition performance. The purpose of the current experiment was to evaluate the effects of non-visual updating on scene recognition while systematically manipulating the type of spatial information available (object position, object identity, or both). Subjects (Ss) learned the positions and/or identities of seven objects on a rotating table. They were subsequently presented with the layout from a novel viewpoint (due to either a table rotation or to Ss' own movement around the table) and made a same/different judgment. The results demonstrated that performance was faster and more accurate when Ss moved to a new viewpoint compared to situations in which they remained stationary while the table rotated. Further, Ss were more accurate when provided with position information combined with identity information compared to situations in which each was provided in isolation. In addition, males consistently outperformed females in all conditions except for the situations when Ss remained stationary and were provided with identity information alone, in which case females outperformed males. This pattern of results changed however when subjects were required to move, in which case, males again outperformed females. This finding supports previous evidence suggesting that females excel in tasks that have a higher verbal component (identity) compared to tasks that relate more directly to spatial features (position), in which case males excel. Further, the current results indicate that specific spatial properties have dissociable effects, suggesting that independent mechanisms are involved in the encoding and updating of spatial representations.