Orthogonal multi-view three-dimensional object representations in memory revealed by serial reproduction

AbstractThe internal representations of three dimensional objects within visual memory are only partially understood. Previous research suggests that 3D object perception is viewpoint dependent, and that the visual system stores viewpoint perspectives in a biased manner. The aim of this project was to obtain detailed estimates of the distributions of 3D object views in shared human memory. We devised a novel experimental paradigm based on transmission chains to investigate memory biases for the 3D orientation of objects. We find that memory tends to be biased towards orthogonal diagrammatic perspectives aligned with the ends of the standard basis for a set of common 3D objects, and that these biases are strongest for side views as well as top or bottom views for a small set of bilaterally symmetric objects. Finally, we found that views sampled from the modes of the distributions we estimated tended to be easier to categorize than views sampled far from the modes.

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