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The role of object motion in forging long-term representations of objects

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It has been suggested that objects are represented as collections of two dimensional images. Although possible in theory, such a representation must first be built, which presupposes a mechanism for collating these images. This is not trivial. Any such mechanism would have to be able to group images which differ considerably in appearance. One possible solution to this problem is to associate those images whose appearance is closely temporally correlated, on the assumption that multiple views of an object are frequently experienced in close temporal succession. This paper describes evidence for the influence of just such a mechanism in human observers, and its effect on long-term representations of initially novel faces. Discrimination performance for previously viewed faces is shown to depend on whether views of the two faces being discriminated, had previously been seen in close temporal succession or not. Irrespective of the preferred theory of how humans represent objects, these results reveal strong evidence for a novel, time-based learning mechanism that strongly influences within-category discrimination.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2002


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