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How category structure influences the perception of object similarity: the atypicality bias.

Tanaka JW, Kantner J, Bartlett M - Front Psychol (2012)

Bottom Line: If similarity judgments are guided purely by their physical properties, the morph should be perceived to be equally similar to its typical parent as its atypical parent.In this framework, atypical stimuli are located in a sparser region of the space where there is less competition for recognition and therefore, these representations capture a broader range of inputs.These results suggest that the perceived likeness of an object is influenced by the organization of surrounding exemplars in the category space.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Victoria Victoria, BC, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Why do some faces appear more similar than others? Beyond structural factors, we speculate that similarity is governed by the organization of faces located in a multi-dimensional face space. To test this hypothesis, we morphed a typical face with an atypical face. If similarity judgments are guided purely by their physical properties, the morph should be perceived to be equally similar to its typical parent as its atypical parent. However, contrary to the structural prediction, our results showed that the morph face was perceived to be more similar to the atypical face than the typical face. Our empirical studies show that the atypicality bias is not limited to faces, but extends to other object categories (birds) whose members share common shape properties. We also demonstrate atypicality bias is malleable and can change subject to category learning and experience. Collectively, the empirical evidence indicates that perceptions of face and object similarity are affected by the distribution of stimuli in a face or object space. In this framework, atypical stimuli are located in a sparser region of the space where there is less competition for recognition and therefore, these representations capture a broader range of inputs. In contrast, typical stimuli are located in a denser region of category space where there is increased competition for recognition and hence, these representation draw a more restricted range of face inputs. These results suggest that the perceived likeness of an object is influenced by the organization of surrounding exemplars in the category space.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Images of movie actors Robert Downey Jr. (far left photo) and George Clooney (far right photo) and their 75%/25% (left middle), 50% /50% (middle) and 25%/75% (right middle) morph images.
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Figure 1: Images of movie actors Robert Downey Jr. (far left photo) and George Clooney (far right photo) and their 75%/25% (left middle), 50% /50% (middle) and 25%/75% (right middle) morph images.

Mentions: In Figure 1, we see the faces of two well known actors (Robert Downey Jr. and George Clooney) and the morph face created by averaging the two parent images together. The morph face presents a curious puzzle: although the morph “child” face receives equal contributions from its celebrity parents, it bears a stronger likeness to one parent than to the other. In this example, most people would agree that the morph face looks more like Robert Downey Jr. If the image is a 50/50 morph of George Clooney and Robert Downey Jr., what are the factors that drive perceptions toward one interpretation of morph face toward one parent image over the other?


How category structure influences the perception of object similarity: the atypicality bias.

Tanaka JW, Kantner J, Bartlett M - Front Psychol (2012)

Images of movie actors Robert Downey Jr. (far left photo) and George Clooney (far right photo) and their 75%/25% (left middle), 50% /50% (middle) and 25%/75% (right middle) morph images.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3368386&req=5

Figure 1: Images of movie actors Robert Downey Jr. (far left photo) and George Clooney (far right photo) and their 75%/25% (left middle), 50% /50% (middle) and 25%/75% (right middle) morph images.
Mentions: In Figure 1, we see the faces of two well known actors (Robert Downey Jr. and George Clooney) and the morph face created by averaging the two parent images together. The morph face presents a curious puzzle: although the morph “child” face receives equal contributions from its celebrity parents, it bears a stronger likeness to one parent than to the other. In this example, most people would agree that the morph face looks more like Robert Downey Jr. If the image is a 50/50 morph of George Clooney and Robert Downey Jr., what are the factors that drive perceptions toward one interpretation of morph face toward one parent image over the other?

Bottom Line: If similarity judgments are guided purely by their physical properties, the morph should be perceived to be equally similar to its typical parent as its atypical parent.In this framework, atypical stimuli are located in a sparser region of the space where there is less competition for recognition and therefore, these representations capture a broader range of inputs.These results suggest that the perceived likeness of an object is influenced by the organization of surrounding exemplars in the category space.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Victoria Victoria, BC, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Why do some faces appear more similar than others? Beyond structural factors, we speculate that similarity is governed by the organization of faces located in a multi-dimensional face space. To test this hypothesis, we morphed a typical face with an atypical face. If similarity judgments are guided purely by their physical properties, the morph should be perceived to be equally similar to its typical parent as its atypical parent. However, contrary to the structural prediction, our results showed that the morph face was perceived to be more similar to the atypical face than the typical face. Our empirical studies show that the atypicality bias is not limited to faces, but extends to other object categories (birds) whose members share common shape properties. We also demonstrate atypicality bias is malleable and can change subject to category learning and experience. Collectively, the empirical evidence indicates that perceptions of face and object similarity are affected by the distribution of stimuli in a face or object space. In this framework, atypical stimuli are located in a sparser region of the space where there is less competition for recognition and therefore, these representations capture a broader range of inputs. In contrast, typical stimuli are located in a denser region of category space where there is increased competition for recognition and hence, these representation draw a more restricted range of face inputs. These results suggest that the perceived likeness of an object is influenced by the organization of surrounding exemplars in the category space.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus