Shyi, G. S. -W., Goldstone, R. L., Hummel, J. E., & Lin, C. (submitted). Computing representations for bound and unbound object matching.
Five experiments examined the nature of object representation. Participants made same-different judgments between two multipart 3-D objects, according to rules where either the object parts and their spatial relationship had to be considered (role-relevant, RR) or just the object parts (role-irrelevant, RI). Results indicate that it was easiest to judge two identical and orientationally aligned objects according to either rule, followed by judging those that shared identical parts located in different positions according to the RI rule. It was most difficult to judge the latter according to the RR rule when they were misaligned by rotation. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that object representations at the image level, part level, or full structural description level may be computed and used for making same-different judgements. The implications of our findings for object recognition in general and the role of spatial attention in particular are discussed.