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Structural dimensions of object pictures: Organization and relation to object decision and naming

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The present paper evaluated the nature of the organization of 22 structural measures of object pictures from the Snodgrass and Vanderwart (1980) picture set (Study 1), and their contribution to object decision and to object naming latencies (Studies 2 and 3). Study 1 employed a principal components analysis and provided evidence of four underlying components: “Object parts”, “internal details”, “object contours”, and “variability of the representation”. Study 2 examined the contribution of these components to object decision and object naming and highlighted variability of the representation and internal details as the most relevant indexes of structural similarity. Study 3 investigated the interactions between these structural components and lexical frequency. Main results showed an interaction effect between variability of the representation and lexical frequency and other effects associated to internal details. Implications for the concept of structural similarity and for object recognition are discussed from a continuous and cascade processing perspective.

Keywords: Object decision; Object naming; Object recognition; Structural similarity; Structural variables

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13506285.2011.575414

Affiliations: Faculty of Psychology and Center for Psychological Research,University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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