At The Intersection Of Perceptual Organization And Categorization

Earlier in the chapter, an important distinction was made between the contributions of perceptual process and knowledge access toward explaining the performance of infants participating in looking time studies. A framework for thinking about the roles of perceptual process and knowledge access in perceptual organization has been offered by Schyns, Goldstone, and Thibaut (1998). Schyns et al. argue for a flexible system of perceptual unit formation, one in which the features that come to define objects are extracted during the task of concept learning. The idea is that an individual's history of concept formation (i.e., the concepts possessed by an individual at a specific point in time) will affect their subsequent perceptual organization processes.

Quinn and Schyns (2003) undertook a set of experiments to better understand the interplay between adherence to Gestalt organizational principles and flexible feature creation. The experiments were designed to answer the following question: Will features that are specified as functional by Gestalt principles be "overlooked" by young infants if alternative means of perceptual organization are "suggested" by presenting the infants with a category of objects in which the features uniting the objects are "nonnatural" in the Gestalt sense? In the first experiment, 3- and 4-month-olds were

Familiarization Trials

Test Trials

Figure 5.5 Examples of the familiarization stimuli and test stimuli used in Quinn and Schyns (2003). If the infants can parse the circle from the familiar patterns in accord with good continuation, then they should prefer the pacman shape over the circle shape during the test trials.

familiarized with a number of complex figures, examples of which are shown in the top portion of Figure 5.5. Subsequently, during a novelty preference test, the infants were presented with the pacman shape paired with the circle shown in the bottom portion of Figure 5.5. The infants were found to recognize the circle as familiar as evidenced by their preference for the pacman shape. This finding is consistent with the idea that the infants had parsed the circle from the complex figures in accord with good continuation.

In follow-up experiments, Quinn and Schyns (2003) asked whether an invariant part abstracted during category learning would interfere with perceptual organization achieved by adherence to good continuation. The experiments consisted of two parts. In Part 1, the infants were familiarized with multiple exemplars, each marked by an invariant pacman shape, and were subsequently administered a novelty preference test that paired the pacman shape with the circle shape. Examples of the stimuli are shown in Figure 5.6. The pacman shape was recognized as familiar, as evidenced by a preference for the circle shape. Part 2 of the procedure was then administered and it simply followed the design of Experiment 1. The expectation is that if the category learning from Part 1 of the procedure, in particular, the representation of the invariant pacman shape, can interfere with the Gestalt-based perceptual

Familiarization Trials oo

Test Trials

Figure 5.6 Examples of the familiarization stimuli and test stimuli used in Quinn and Schyns (2003). If the infants can extract the invariant pacman from the familiar patterns, then they should prefer the circle shape over the pacman shape during the test trials.

organization that was observed in Experiment 1, then the preference for the pacman shape that was observed in Experiment 1 should no longer be observed. In fact, if the representation of the pacman shape carries over from Part 1 to Part 2 of the procedure, one would expect the opposite result, that is, the infants should continue to prefer the circle. The latter result is what was observed and it suggests that perceptual units formed during category learning can be (1) entered into a perceptual system's working "featural" vocabulary, and (2) available to subsequent object recognition processes. The bias set by the Gestalt principle of good continuation is thus soft-wired and subject to interference. More generally, an individual's history of categorization will affect their subsequent object parsing abilities. In the following section of the chapter, the issue of how categorization emerges as a core process during the period of early infancy will be considered more fully.

Finding Your Confidence

Finding Your Confidence

Confidence is necessary to achieve success in life. Some effective confidence tips must be followed if you genuinely want to gain accomplishment in your work. So how do you build your confidence that will work for you in any situation? Initially, make an effort to spend time with confident people. Their vigor and strength is so stirring that you will surely feel yourself more powerful just by listening to their talk. To build confidence it is vital that you are in the midst of self-assuring people.

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