The effects of plane rotation on the recognition of brief masked pictures of familiar objects

Rebecca Lawson, University of Liverpool

Pierre Jolicoeur, University of Waterloo

Two experiments examined the effects of plane rotation on the recognition of briefly displayed pictures of familiar objects, using a picture–word verification task. Mirroring the results of earlier picture naming studies (Jolicoeur, 1985; Jolicoeur & Milliken, 1989), plane rotation away from a canonical upright orientation reduced the efficiency of recognition, although in contrast to the results from picture naming studies, the rotation effects were not reduced with experience with the stimuli. However, the rotation effects were influenced by the visual similarity of the distractor objects to the picture of the object presented, with greater orientation sensitivity being observed when visually similar distractors were presented. We suggest that subjects use orientation-sensitive representations to recognize objects in both the present unspeeded verification and in the earlier speeded naming tests of picture identification.

Memory & Cognition, (1998), 26, 791-803