When are viewpoint costs greater for silhouettes than for shaded images?

William G. HAYWARD*, Alan C.-N. WONG, Branka SPEHAR

*Corresponding author for this work

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

7 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies of object recognition have shown efficient recognition of silhouettes, suggesting that much of the information used to recognize objects resides in the outline. These studies, however, have used objects that contain many components, which provide redundant information. In this study, we examined recognition of silhouettes of less-complex objects, so that redundant information was reduced. We found that viewpoint generalization costs (the decrement of performance when recognizing nonstudied views) were greater for silhouettes than for shaded images, even when the same qualitative components were visible in the outline of both studied and nonstudied views. Thus, silhouettes do not always allow for view generalization as efficiently as do shaded images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council to W.G.H. and B.S. and by Grant CUHK 4332/00H to W.G.H. from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong SAR, China.


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