Recent Psychophysical and Neural Research in Shape Recognition

  • Irving Biederman


Shape is the major route by which we gain knowledge about our visual world. All contemporary theories of shape-based object representation, e.g., Hummel and Biederman (1992); Riesenhuber and Poggio (2002), assume a hierarchy of features by which the initial Gabor-like filtering that is characteristic of V1 cell-tuning is ultimately transformed through a series of stages to a point where cell tuning is better described by “moderately complex” features with receptive fields (r.f.s) that often cannot be analyzed into their linear components (Tanaka 1993; Kobatake and Tanaka 1994). These later stages are the inferior temporal cortex in the macaque (IT) and, in humans as determined by fMRI, likely the Lateral Occipital Complex (LOC). Along with the increase in r.f. nonlinearity in IT and LOC, the cells exhibit a high degree of invariance to changes in the conditions of presentation so the response is only moderately changed to variations in the viewing conditions. In this chapter we will review recent evidence, both behavioral and neural, that shed light on the nature of these object representations.


Metric Property Depth Discontinuity Inferior Temporal Visual Object Recognition Lateral Occipital Complex 
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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Biederman
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience ProgramUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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