Recognizing silhouettes and shaded images across depth rotation

William G. HAYWARD*, Michael J. TARR, Anna K. CORDEROY

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Outline-shape information may be particularly important in the recognition of depth-rotated objects because it provides a coarse shape description which gives first-pass information about the structure of an object. In four experiments, we compared recognition of silhouettes (showing only outline shape) with recognition of fully shaded images of objects, by means of a sequential-matching task. In experiments 1 and 2, the first stimulus was always a shaded image, and the second stimulus was either a shaded image or a silhouette. Recognition costs associated with a change in viewpoint were no greater for silhouettes than they were for shaded images. Experiments 3 and 4 replicated the design of the earlier experiments, but showed a silhouette as the initial stimulus, rather than a shaded image. In these cases, recognition costs associated with a change in viewpoint were greater for silhouettes than for shaded images. Combined, these results indicate that, while visual representations clearly include additional information, outline shape plays an important role in object recognition across depth rotation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1215
Number of pages19
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


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