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Mirror-image confusions: Implications for representation and processing of object orientation.
Cognition. 2010 Jul; 116(1):110-29.C

Abstract

Perceiving the orientation of objects is important for interacting with the world, yet little is known about the mental representation or processing of object orientation information. The tendency of humans and other species to confuse mirror images provides a potential clue. However, the appropriate characterization of this phenomenon is not entirely clear, in part because the stimuli used in most previous studies were not adequate for distinguishing various forms of mirror-image and non-mirror-image error. In the present study we explore the nature of mirror-image confusion and what the phenomenon can reveal about object-orientation representations. We report several experiments in which participants reported the orientations of pictures. In all of the experiments mirror-reflection errors were more frequent than other orientation errors. However, whereas mirror-image confusion has previously been described as a tendency to confuse stimuli that are related by reflection across an extrinsic (usually vertical) axis, the vast majority of mirror-image errors in our experiments were reflections across an object axis. This finding calls into question several hypotheses proposed to explain mirror-image confusion. We describe a coordinate-system orientation representation (COR) hypothesis that can account for our results (McCloskey, Valtonen, & Sherman, 2006). COR assumes that orientation representations map an object-centered reference frame onto a reference frame extrinsic to the object, with this mapping specified by several parameters. According to COR, mirror-image confusions and other orientation errors arise from failures in representing or processing specific parameters. Considered in light of COR, our results suggest that orientation representations are compositional, and that object-centered reference frames play a central role in orientation representation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University, MD, United States. gregory@cogsci.jhu.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20466358

Citation

Gregory, Emma, and Michael McCloskey. "Mirror-image Confusions: Implications for Representation and Processing of Object Orientation." Cognition, vol. 116, no. 1, 2010, pp. 110-29.
Gregory E, McCloskey M. Mirror-image confusions: Implications for representation and processing of object orientation. Cognition. 2010;116(1):110-29.
Gregory, E., & McCloskey, M. (2010). Mirror-image confusions: Implications for representation and processing of object orientation. Cognition, 116(1), 110-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2010.04.005
Gregory E, McCloskey M. Mirror-image Confusions: Implications for Representation and Processing of Object Orientation. Cognition. 2010;116(1):110-29. PubMed PMID: 20466358.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Mirror-image confusions: Implications for representation and processing of object orientation. AU - Gregory,Emma, AU - McCloskey,Michael, Y1 - 2010/05/13/ PY - 2009/04/14/received PY - 2010/03/26/revised PY - 2010/04/16/accepted PY - 2010/5/15/entrez PY - 2010/5/15/pubmed PY - 2010/9/9/medline SP - 110 EP - 29 JF - Cognition JO - Cognition VL - 116 IS - 1 N2 - Perceiving the orientation of objects is important for interacting with the world, yet little is known about the mental representation or processing of object orientation information. The tendency of humans and other species to confuse mirror images provides a potential clue. However, the appropriate characterization of this phenomenon is not entirely clear, in part because the stimuli used in most previous studies were not adequate for distinguishing various forms of mirror-image and non-mirror-image error. In the present study we explore the nature of mirror-image confusion and what the phenomenon can reveal about object-orientation representations. We report several experiments in which participants reported the orientations of pictures. In all of the experiments mirror-reflection errors were more frequent than other orientation errors. However, whereas mirror-image confusion has previously been described as a tendency to confuse stimuli that are related by reflection across an extrinsic (usually vertical) axis, the vast majority of mirror-image errors in our experiments were reflections across an object axis. This finding calls into question several hypotheses proposed to explain mirror-image confusion. We describe a coordinate-system orientation representation (COR) hypothesis that can account for our results (McCloskey, Valtonen, & Sherman, 2006). COR assumes that orientation representations map an object-centered reference frame onto a reference frame extrinsic to the object, with this mapping specified by several parameters. According to COR, mirror-image confusions and other orientation errors arise from failures in representing or processing specific parameters. Considered in light of COR, our results suggest that orientation representations are compositional, and that object-centered reference frames play a central role in orientation representation. SN - 1873-7838 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20466358/Mirror_image_confusions:_Implications_for_representation_and_processing_of_object_orientation_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0010-0277(10)00085-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -