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Lauren Kogelschatz, Elan Barenholtz; How do we recognize our own stuff? Expert vs. generic recognition of household items. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):955. doi: 10.1167/10.7.955.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous research on object recognition-as opposed to face recognition- has primarily focused on ‘generic’ objects (e.g. identifying an object as a car), in which different individuals are assumed to share the same basic knowledge about the target objects. However, we are all ‘experts’ with regard to a particular class of stimuli: the objects we see and use every day in our home or work environment. The current study aims to address how such ‘expert’ recognition compares with generic recognition of household objects. We compared performance for expert observers-in which the target objects came from the subject’s own home, vs. generic observers- who were unfamiliar with the particular environment from which the objects were drawn. Recognition performance was measured using two paradigms: ‘pixelation’- in which subjects progressively increased the resolution of the image of the object until they could recognize it and ‘modified bubbles’-in which subjects had to progressively reveal the image of the object by removing square checks from an occluder obscuring it. In addition, we assessed the role of specific features (color, size, object type) across expert and generic observers. We found a large advantage for the expert observers overall as well as differences between expert and generic observers in the role of specific features.
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