Skeletal Shapes Key to Rapid Recognition of Objects

In the blink of an eye, the human visual system can process an item, identifying whether it’s a cup or a sock within milliseconds, and with apparently little effort. It’s reputable that an item’s shape is an important visual hint to assist the eyes and brain perform this technique. A brand-new research study, nevertheless, discovers that while the external shape of an item is very important for rapid recognition, the things’s inner “skeleton” might play a much more essential function.

Scientific Reports released the research study by psychologists at Emory University, revealing that a key visual tool for things recognition is the median axis of an item, or its skeletal geometry.

“When we think of an object’s shape, we typically imagine the outer contours,” describes Vladislav Ayzenberg, very first author of the paper and an Emory PhD prospect in psychology. “But there is also a deeper, more abstract property of shape that’s described by skeletal geometry. Our research suggests that this inner, invisible mechanism may be crucial to recognizing an object so quickly.”

“You can think of it like a child’s stick drawing of a person,” includes Stella Lourenco, senior author of the research study and an associate teacher of psychology at Emory. “Using a stick figure to represent a person gives you the basic visual information you need to immediately perceive the figure’s meaning.”

The Lourenco laboratory investigates human visual understanding, cognition and advancement. Visual understanding of an item starts when light strikes our eyes and the things is forecasted as a two-dimensional image onto the photoreceptor cells of the retina.

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