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Orientation congruency effects for familiar objects: Coordinate transformations in object recognition

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Graf, M., Kaping, D., & Bülthoff, H. H. (2005). Orientation congruency effects for familiar objects: Coordinate transformations in object recognition. Psychological Science, 16(3), 214-221. doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.00806.x.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-CEDB-4
How do observers recognize objects after spatial transformations? Recent neurocomputational models have proposed that object recognition is based on coordinate transformations that align memory and stimulus representations. If the recognition of a misoriented object is achieved by adjusting a coordinate system (or reference frame), then recognition should be facilitated when the object is preceded by a different object in the same orientation. In the two experiments reported here, two objects were presented in brief masked displays that were in close temporal contiguity; the objects were in either congruent or incongruent picture-plane orientations. Results showed that naming accuracy was higher for congruent than for incongruent orientations. The congruency effect was independent of superordinate category membership (Experiment 1) and was found for objects with different main axes of elongation (Experiment 2). The results indicate congruency effects for common familiar objects even when they have dissimilar shapes. These findings are compatible with models in which object recognition is achieved by an adjustment of a perceptual coordinate system.