August 2009
Volume 9, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2009
Where do objects become scenes?
Author Affiliations
  • Jiye Kim
    Department of Psychology, University of Southern California
  • Irving Biederman
    Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, and Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California
Journal of Vision August 2009, Vol.9, 779. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Jiye Kim, Irving Biederman; Where do objects become scenes?. Journal of Vision 2009;9(8):779.

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

A pair of objects can be depicted side-by-side or interacting. W. Epstein et al. (1960) showed that the depiction of interacting objects (e.g., a pipe on a clock) facilitated cued recall compared to when the same images were shown side-by-side. The saliency of object interactions, readily described by prepositions or gerunds, is immediately appreciated. What are the neural loci of these interactions? Does novelty of the interaction matter? In an fMRI block-design, subjects viewed a series of minimal scenes, each consisting of a pair of objects. The objects were presented either side-by-side (e.g., a bird and a birdhouse) in some blocks or interacting with each other (e.g., the bird perched on the birdhouse) in other blocks. To examine the effects of novelty, on some blocks one of the objects in each pair was switched with an object from another pair (e.g., an ear for the birdhouse) so now the interaction would depict the bird on the ear. Interactions produced greater BOLD activity both in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) and, only under some conditions, in the parahippocampal place area (PPA) as well. Novelty of the interactions magnified this gain, an effect that was absent in the side-by-side depictions. Controls ruled out eccentricity, relative size, task influences, or feed-forward activity from earlier visual areas as possible sources of the interaction effect. The results thus suggest that objects can become scenes as early as LOC. The distinctive relation of each interacting pair likely elicited additional associations—more so for novel relations—and it is that activity that might have magnified the BOLD responses in these higher visual areas.

Kim, J. Biederman, I. (2009). Where do objects become scenes? [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 9(8):779, 779a,, doi:10.1167/9.8.779. [CrossRef]
 NSF BCS 04-20794, 05-31177, and 06-17699 to I.B.

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.