Does object view influence the scene consistency effect?

Atten Percept Psychophys. 2015 Apr;77(3):856-66. doi: 10.3758/s13414-014-0817-x.


Traditional research on the scene consistency effect only used clearly recognizable object stimuli to show mutually interactive context effects for both the object and background components on scene perception (Davenport & Potter in Psychological Science, 15, 559-564, 2004). However, in real environments, objects are viewed from multiple viewpoints, including an accidental, hard-to-recognize one. When the observers named target objects in scenes (Experiments 1a and 1b, object recognition task), we replicated the scene consistency effect (i.e., there was higher accuracy for the objects with consistent backgrounds). However, there was a significant interaction effect between consistency and object viewpoint, which indicated that the scene consistency effect was more important for identifying objects in the accidental view condition than in the canonical view condition. Therefore, the object recognition system may rely more on the scene context when the object is difficult to recognize. In Experiment 2, the observers identified the background (background recognition task) while the scene consistency and object views were manipulated. The results showed that object viewpoint had no effect, while the scene consistency effect was observed. More specifically, the canonical and accidental views both equally provided contextual information for scene perception. These findings suggested that the mechanism for conscious recognition of objects could be dissociated from the mechanism for visual analysis of object images that were part of a scene. The "context" that the object images provided may have been derived from its view-invariant, relatively low-level visual features (e.g., color), rather than its semantic information.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Visual Perception / physiology
  • Young Adult