Memory for objects in canonical and noncanonical viewpoints

Abstract

This article investigates how the perspective from which we see an object affects memory. Object identification can be affected by the orientation of the object. Palmer, Rosch, and Chase (1981) coined the term canonical to describe perspectives in which identification performance is best. We present two experiments that tested the effects of object perspective on memory. Our results revealed a double dissociation between task (recognition and recall) and type of object perspective. In recognition, items studied in the noncanonical viewpoint produced higher proportions of “old” responses than did items studied in the canonical viewpoint, whereas new objects presented from a noncanonical viewpoint produced fewer “old” responses than did new objects presented from the canonical viewpoint. In free recall, conversely, objects studied from the noncanonical viewpoint produced lower recall rates than did objects studied from the canonical viewpoint. These results, which reveal a pattern similar to word frequency effects, support the psychological reality of canonical viewpoints and the frequencyof-exposure-based accounts of canonical viewpoint effects. 2008 Psychonomic Society, Inc

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Correspondence to Pablo Gomez.

Additional information

This research was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant SES-0446869 to P.G., and NSF Grant SES-0351523 and NIMH Grant R01-MH071418 to J.N.R.

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Gomez, P., Shutter, J. & Rouder, J.N. Memory for objects in canonical and noncanonical viewpoints. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 15, 940–944 (2008). https://doi.org/10.3758/PBR.15.5.940

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Keywords

  • Object Recognition
  • Recognition Memory
  • Free Recall
  • False Alarm Rate
  • Mental Rotation