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Reading: The Influence of Categorisation on the Perceived Shape Similarity of Everyday Objects

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Research Article

The Influence of Categorisation on the Perceived Shape Similarity of Everyday Objects

Authors:

Céline R Gillebert,

Laboratory for Cognitive Neurology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, BE
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Hans P Op de Beeck,

Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, BE
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Johan Wagemans

Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, BE
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Abstract

There is substantial evidence that object representations in adults are dynamically adapted by learning. Here we show that these effects are induced by active processing of objects in a particular task context, and not merely by visual exposure to objects during training. We derived behavioural sensitivity and neural selectivity for shape differences in a psychophysical and an event-related fMRI-adaptation study, respectively. We had two training conditions: “categorised objects” were categorised at a subordinate level based on fine shape differences, while “control objects” were seen equally often in a task context requiring no subordinate categorisation. After training, categorised objects were more easily discriminable than control objects and object-selective cortex was more selective for differences among categorised than control objects. These results indicate that the task context modulates the extent to which shape similarity is altered as a result of training, both at the behavioural and at the neural level.
How to Cite: Gillebert, C.R., Op de Beeck, H.P. & Wagemans, J., (2009). The Influence of Categorisation on the Perceived Shape Similarity of Everyday Objects. Psychologica Belgica. 48(4), pp.261–282. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb-48-4-261
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Published on 01 Oct 2009.
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