European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) edition:31 location:Utrecht, The Netherlands date:24-28 August 2008
We investigated the role of shape properties when people perceive similarity between novel objects. In particular, we compared the role of the global aspect ratio and retinotopic envelope of objects (here referred to as `global shape') with the role of shape curvature aspects like whether objects contain straight or curved edges (here referred to as `local shape'). We used a stimulus set with nine novel objects that varied in shape properties. In two experiments, subjects rated the perceived similarity among these objects. In Experiment 1 (N=8), subjects had to rate the perceived similarity between pairs of objects. In Experiment 2, subjects (N=18) were asked to rate how well 12 shape properties applied to each object. The results showed that objects with the same local shape properties are being perceived as most similar. Objects with different
local and global shape properties were rated as least similar. These results indicate that local and global shape properties contribute to perceived shape similarity, with the strongest contribution coming from local shape properties.