Stereo disparity facilitates view generalization during shape recognition for solid multipart objects

Filipe CRISTINO*, Lina DAVITT, William G. HAYWARD, E. Charles LEEK

*Corresponding author for this work

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

9 Citations (Scopus)


Current theories of object recognition in human vision make different predictions about whether the recognition of complex, multipart objects should be influenced by shape information about surface depth orientation and curvature derived from stereo disparity. We examined this issue in five experiments using a recognition memory paradigm in which observers (N = 134) memorized and then discriminated sets of 3D novel objects at trained and untrained viewpoints under either mono or stereo viewing conditions. In order to explore the conditions under which stereo-defined shape information contributes to object recognition we systematically varied the difficulty of view generalization by increasing the angular disparity between trained and untrained views. In one series of experiments, objects were presented from either previously trained views or untrained views rotated (15°, 30°, or 60°) along the same plane. In separate experiments we examined whether view generalization effects interacted with the vertical or horizontal plane of object rotation across 40° viewpoint changes. The results showed robust viewpoint-dependent performance costs: Observers were more efficient in recognizing learned objects from trained than from untrained views, and recognition was worse for extrapolated than for interpolated untrained views. We also found that performance was enhanced by stereo viewing but only at larger angular disparities between trained and untrained views. These findings show that object recognition is not based solely on 2D image information but that it can be facilitated by shape information derived from stereo disparity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2419-2436
Number of pages18
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Correspondence should be addressed to Filipe Cristino, School of Psychology, Brigantia Building, Bangor University, Bangor, LL57 2AS, UK. E-mail: [email protected] The authors wish to thank Candy Patterson and Pamela Arnold for their contribution to the study. This work was supported by an ESRC/EPSRC (Economic and Social Research Council/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) grant [grant number RES-062-23-2075] awarded to E.C.L.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Experimental Psychology Society.


  • Object recognition
  • Stereo disparity
  • View generalization


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