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Real-world objects are more memorable than photographs of objects.

Snow JC, Skiba RM, Coleman TL, Berryhill ME - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: Surprisingly, recall and recognition performance was significantly better for real objects compared to colored photographs or line drawings (for which memory performance was equivalent).Again, recall and recognition performance was significantly better for the real objects than matched color photos of the same items.Our results highlight the importance of studying real-world object cognition and raise the potential for applied use in developing effective strategies for education, marketing, and further research on object-related cognition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive and Brain Sciences Group, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada Reno, NV, USA.

ABSTRACT
Research studies in psychology typically use two-dimensional (2D) images of objects as proxies for real-world three-dimensional (3D) stimuli. There are, however, a number of important differences between real objects and images that could influence cognition and behavior. Although human memory has been studied extensively, only a handful of studies have used real objects in the context of memory and virtually none have directly compared memory for real objects vs. their 2D counterparts. Here we examined whether or not episodic memory is influenced by the format in which objects are displayed. We conducted two experiments asking participants to freely recall, and to recognize, a set of 44 common household objects. Critically, the exemplars were displayed to observers in one of three viewing conditions: real-world objects, colored photographs, or black and white line drawings. Stimuli were closely matched across conditions for size, orientation, and illumination. Surprisingly, recall and recognition performance was significantly better for real objects compared to colored photographs or line drawings (for which memory performance was equivalent). We replicated this pattern in a second experiment comparing memory for real objects vs. color photos, when the stimuli were matched for viewing angle across conditions. Again, recall and recognition performance was significantly better for the real objects than matched color photos of the same items. Taken together, our data suggest that real objects are more memorable than pictorial stimuli. Our results highlight the importance of studying real-world object cognition and raise the potential for applied use in developing effective strategies for education, marketing, and further research on object-related cognition.

No MeSH data available.


Stimulus setup and trial sequence for Experiments 1 and 2. (A) Two common household objects were presented on each shelf of the presentation box, for a total of four stimulus items per display. Observers stood within reaching distance of the display items. In Experiment 1, the stimuli were presented to observers in one of three Viewing Conditions: real objects (not shown), color photos (upper panel), or black and white line drawings (lower panel). The shelves were tilted ~30° toward the subject to facilitate recognition. (B) In Experiment 2, participants viewed either real objects or color photographs of the same objects, this time with the shelves positioned vertically to match stimulus viewing angle (example color photograph shown). (C) Trial sequence in the Study Phase. Observers viewed each stimulus display for 5 s, followed by a 40 s ITI. An auditory tone signaled subjects to close their eyes during the ITI, and a second tone signaled the beginning of the next trial. White noise was played during the ITI. A curtain was used to mask the stimuli from subjects view at the end of each trial and the display box was turned to face the experimenters during stimulus changeover. The Study Phase comprised of 11 stimulus trials (four items per display), yielding a total of 44 different objects.
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Figure 1: Stimulus setup and trial sequence for Experiments 1 and 2. (A) Two common household objects were presented on each shelf of the presentation box, for a total of four stimulus items per display. Observers stood within reaching distance of the display items. In Experiment 1, the stimuli were presented to observers in one of three Viewing Conditions: real objects (not shown), color photos (upper panel), or black and white line drawings (lower panel). The shelves were tilted ~30° toward the subject to facilitate recognition. (B) In Experiment 2, participants viewed either real objects or color photographs of the same objects, this time with the shelves positioned vertically to match stimulus viewing angle (example color photograph shown). (C) Trial sequence in the Study Phase. Observers viewed each stimulus display for 5 s, followed by a 40 s ITI. An auditory tone signaled subjects to close their eyes during the ITI, and a second tone signaled the beginning of the next trial. White noise was played during the ITI. A curtain was used to mask the stimuli from subjects view at the end of each trial and the display box was turned to face the experimenters during stimulus changeover. The Study Phase comprised of 11 stimulus trials (four items per display), yielding a total of 44 different objects.

Mentions: The stimuli in each Experiment consisted of 44 common household objects and high-resolution photographs of the same items (Figure 1). The photographs were reproduced in color, and as black and white line-drawings. In Experiment 1 we compared memory performance for objects in three different Viewing Conditions: real objects, color photographs, and line-drawings. In Experiment 2 we compared memory for real objects vs. color photographs. Photograph (and line drawing) stimuli were matched to the real objects in terms of size, and orientation using the methods described below. Line drawings of each stimulus were created using Adobe Photoshop to remove all color and most surface texture cues by isolating the object in the image, using the Sketch-Photocopy filter, and raising contrast values in the image. Stimuli in each Viewing Condition were presented to observers within a custom display box; the boxes were constructed from black foam-core, and a gray curtain (that covered the entire display) was attached to the top of the box. Each real object was attached to a removable black foam-core shelf that could be quickly inserted into position within the display box. Each shelf held two objects, and each box held two shelves (upper/lower), yielding a total of four stimuli per trial. We used a Canon Rebel T2i DSLR camera with constant F-stop and shutter speed to photograph the real objects, separately for each shelf, thereby matching for stimulus orientation between the real object and photograph conditions. Image size was adjusted using Adobe Photoshop, and the resulting photograph stimuli were printed to match the real objects in size. In Experiment 1, the real object shelves were positioned at a 45° angle within the display box, and photographs of the shelves were taken at the same display angle (Figure 1A). In Experiment 2, the object stimuli were attached to shelves that were positioned in a vertical orientation, to match the real object and photograph stimuli for viewing angle (Figure 1B). Photograph stimuli were printed on HP Satin Q8923 paper and attached to shelves of identical size to the real object displays using double-sided tape. The timing of events in both experiments was controlled using Matlab (Mathworks, USA) and Psychtoolbox software packages.


Real-world objects are more memorable than photographs of objects.

Snow JC, Skiba RM, Coleman TL, Berryhill ME - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Stimulus setup and trial sequence for Experiments 1 and 2. (A) Two common household objects were presented on each shelf of the presentation box, for a total of four stimulus items per display. Observers stood within reaching distance of the display items. In Experiment 1, the stimuli were presented to observers in one of three Viewing Conditions: real objects (not shown), color photos (upper panel), or black and white line drawings (lower panel). The shelves were tilted ~30° toward the subject to facilitate recognition. (B) In Experiment 2, participants viewed either real objects or color photographs of the same objects, this time with the shelves positioned vertically to match stimulus viewing angle (example color photograph shown). (C) Trial sequence in the Study Phase. Observers viewed each stimulus display for 5 s, followed by a 40 s ITI. An auditory tone signaled subjects to close their eyes during the ITI, and a second tone signaled the beginning of the next trial. White noise was played during the ITI. A curtain was used to mask the stimuli from subjects view at the end of each trial and the display box was turned to face the experimenters during stimulus changeover. The Study Phase comprised of 11 stimulus trials (four items per display), yielding a total of 44 different objects.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4202719&req=5

Figure 1: Stimulus setup and trial sequence for Experiments 1 and 2. (A) Two common household objects were presented on each shelf of the presentation box, for a total of four stimulus items per display. Observers stood within reaching distance of the display items. In Experiment 1, the stimuli were presented to observers in one of three Viewing Conditions: real objects (not shown), color photos (upper panel), or black and white line drawings (lower panel). The shelves were tilted ~30° toward the subject to facilitate recognition. (B) In Experiment 2, participants viewed either real objects or color photographs of the same objects, this time with the shelves positioned vertically to match stimulus viewing angle (example color photograph shown). (C) Trial sequence in the Study Phase. Observers viewed each stimulus display for 5 s, followed by a 40 s ITI. An auditory tone signaled subjects to close their eyes during the ITI, and a second tone signaled the beginning of the next trial. White noise was played during the ITI. A curtain was used to mask the stimuli from subjects view at the end of each trial and the display box was turned to face the experimenters during stimulus changeover. The Study Phase comprised of 11 stimulus trials (four items per display), yielding a total of 44 different objects.
Mentions: The stimuli in each Experiment consisted of 44 common household objects and high-resolution photographs of the same items (Figure 1). The photographs were reproduced in color, and as black and white line-drawings. In Experiment 1 we compared memory performance for objects in three different Viewing Conditions: real objects, color photographs, and line-drawings. In Experiment 2 we compared memory for real objects vs. color photographs. Photograph (and line drawing) stimuli were matched to the real objects in terms of size, and orientation using the methods described below. Line drawings of each stimulus were created using Adobe Photoshop to remove all color and most surface texture cues by isolating the object in the image, using the Sketch-Photocopy filter, and raising contrast values in the image. Stimuli in each Viewing Condition were presented to observers within a custom display box; the boxes were constructed from black foam-core, and a gray curtain (that covered the entire display) was attached to the top of the box. Each real object was attached to a removable black foam-core shelf that could be quickly inserted into position within the display box. Each shelf held two objects, and each box held two shelves (upper/lower), yielding a total of four stimuli per trial. We used a Canon Rebel T2i DSLR camera with constant F-stop and shutter speed to photograph the real objects, separately for each shelf, thereby matching for stimulus orientation between the real object and photograph conditions. Image size was adjusted using Adobe Photoshop, and the resulting photograph stimuli were printed to match the real objects in size. In Experiment 1, the real object shelves were positioned at a 45° angle within the display box, and photographs of the shelves were taken at the same display angle (Figure 1A). In Experiment 2, the object stimuli were attached to shelves that were positioned in a vertical orientation, to match the real object and photograph stimuli for viewing angle (Figure 1B). Photograph stimuli were printed on HP Satin Q8923 paper and attached to shelves of identical size to the real object displays using double-sided tape. The timing of events in both experiments was controlled using Matlab (Mathworks, USA) and Psychtoolbox software packages.

Bottom Line: Surprisingly, recall and recognition performance was significantly better for real objects compared to colored photographs or line drawings (for which memory performance was equivalent).Again, recall and recognition performance was significantly better for the real objects than matched color photos of the same items.Our results highlight the importance of studying real-world object cognition and raise the potential for applied use in developing effective strategies for education, marketing, and further research on object-related cognition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive and Brain Sciences Group, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada Reno, NV, USA.

ABSTRACT
Research studies in psychology typically use two-dimensional (2D) images of objects as proxies for real-world three-dimensional (3D) stimuli. There are, however, a number of important differences between real objects and images that could influence cognition and behavior. Although human memory has been studied extensively, only a handful of studies have used real objects in the context of memory and virtually none have directly compared memory for real objects vs. their 2D counterparts. Here we examined whether or not episodic memory is influenced by the format in which objects are displayed. We conducted two experiments asking participants to freely recall, and to recognize, a set of 44 common household objects. Critically, the exemplars were displayed to observers in one of three viewing conditions: real-world objects, colored photographs, or black and white line drawings. Stimuli were closely matched across conditions for size, orientation, and illumination. Surprisingly, recall and recognition performance was significantly better for real objects compared to colored photographs or line drawings (for which memory performance was equivalent). We replicated this pattern in a second experiment comparing memory for real objects vs. color photos, when the stimuli were matched for viewing angle across conditions. Again, recall and recognition performance was significantly better for the real objects than matched color photos of the same items. Taken together, our data suggest that real objects are more memorable than pictorial stimuli. Our results highlight the importance of studying real-world object cognition and raise the potential for applied use in developing effective strategies for education, marketing, and further research on object-related cognition.

No MeSH data available.