The effect of prior experience on recognition thresholds for plane-disoriented pictures of familiar objects

Rebecca Lawson, University of Liverpool

Pierre Jolicoeur, University of Waterloo

We investigated plane rotation effects on the minimum presentation duration that is required in order to recognize pictures of familiar objects, using the method of ascending limits. Subjects made unspeeded verification responses, selecting from 126 written alternatives. Replicating similar identification studies in which brief, masked pictures (Lawson & Jolicoeur, 1998) were presented, disorientation reduced the efficiency of recognition. Mirroring the findings in speeded picture naming studies (e.g., Jolicoeur, 1985; Jolicoeur & Milliken, 1989), but in contrast to those of Lawson and Jolicoeur (1998), orientation effects were found over a wide range of views and were attenuated but not eliminated with experience with a given object. The results bridge the findings from unspeeded verification and speeded naming tasks. They suggest that the same orientation-sensitive processes are tapped in both cases, and that practice effects on these processes are object specific.

Memory & Cognition, (1999), 27, 751-758