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Karin H. James, G. Keith Humphrey, Melvyn A. Goodale; Viewpoint preferences during the exploration of novel 3D objects. Journal of Vision 2002;2(7):46. doi: 10.1167/2.7.46.
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A set of studies was conducted that investigated how participants explored the three-dimensional structure of novel objects. Participants rotated a virtual object on a computer screen about any axis to learn the objects' 3-D structure. Their exploration patterns were recorded and revealed that participants focused on a limited number of views of these objects, specifically ‘plan’ views that were defined as ‘front’ (axis of elongation is parallel to the line of sight), ‘side’ (axis of elongation is perpendicular to the line of sight) and ‘back’ views. In contrast, views that were ‘intermediate’ or half way between the front and side views were virtually ignored. These results were found in studies that presented the objects on a computer monitor and in a study that presented the objects in a fully immersive virtual reality environment. These findings suggest that storing these plan views of the objects may be important for subsequent recognition of novel objects. In fact, we found in a related study that studying plan views results in faster subsequent recognition than studying intermediate views. The reasons why plan views may be important for creating stored object representations will be discussed.
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