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View-direction specificity in Scene Recognition after Active and Passive Learning


Christou,  C
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Christou, C.(1997). View-direction specificity in Scene Recognition after Active and Passive Learning (53).

Human visual encoding of scenes was studied with respect to view specificity: the extent to which observers ability to recognize a familiar scene depends on the limited set of directions experienced during training. Precise control of cues was achieved by using a computer model of a virtual room. A novel explorative search paradigm was implemented using real-time image generation and provided a controlled yet natural means of familiarisation. After training, observers where able to recognize both familiar and novel direction views but the latter involved more errors and required more processing time. Observers were also able to identify the corresponding floorplan indicating that the encoding could provide abstract relation information. In subsequent tests in which we replaced the interactive training stage with passively observed sequences of snap-shots we found that although familiar-view recognition persisted the novel view generalisation performance diminished. This was so, even when binocular disparities were used to provide more depth information. These results suggest that mental encoding of scenes is view-based although the observed generalisation to novel views cannot readily be explained by simple transformations on 2D stored views. Furthermore, our study highlights the importance of allowing natural behaviour during visual familiarisation tasks.