August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
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Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Greater Sensitivity to Nonaccidental than Metric Shape Properties in Preschool Children
Author Affiliations
  • Sarah B. Herald
    Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California
  • Manan P. Shah
    Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California
  • Ori Amir
    Psychology Department, University of Southern California
  • Irving Biederman
    Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California
  • Toby Mintz
    Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 1291. doi:10.1167/14.10.1291
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      Sarah B. Herald, Manan P. Shah, Ori Amir, Irving Biederman, Toby Mintz; Greater Sensitivity to Nonaccidental than Metric Shape Properties in Preschool Children. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1291. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1291.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Nonaccidental properties (NAPs) are image properties that are invariant over orientation in depth and allow facile recognition of objects at varied orientations. NAPs are distinguished from metric properties (MPs) that generally vary continuously with changes in orientation in depth. While a number of studies have demonstrated greater sensitivity to NAPs in human adults, pigeons, and macaque IT cells, the few studies that investigated sensitivities in preschool children failed to find significantly greater sensitivity to NAPs. However, these studies did not provide an adequate principled measure of the physical image differences for the MP and NAP variations. We assessed sensitivity to NAP vs. MP differences in a match-to-sample experiment in which 14 preschool children were instructed to choose which of the two lower shapes was different from the top sample shape in a triangular array of the three shapes. Importantly, we scaled the shape differences so that MP and NAP differences were roughly equal, using the Gabor Jet model of V1 similarity (Lades et al., 1993). That model provides almost perfect predictability of psychophysical similarity in discriminating metric shape variations (Yue et al., 2012). Mean reaction times (RTs) for every child were shorter when the target shape differed from the sample in a NAP than an MP. The results suggest that preschoolers, like adults, are more sensitive to NAPs than MPs. This could explain their ability to rapidly learn new objects without having to observe them from every possible orientation.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014

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