City Research Online

A perceptual bias for man-made objects in humans

Ismail, A. M. H., Solomon, J. A. ORCID: 0000-0001-9976-4788, Hansard, M. and Mareschal, I. (2019). A perceptual bias for man-made objects in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.1492

Abstract

Ambiguous images are widely recognized as a valuable tool for probing human perception. Perceptual biases that arise when people make judgements about ambiguous images reveal their expectations about the environment. While perceptual biases in early visual processing have been well established, their existence in higher-level vision has been explored only for faces, which may be processed differently from other objects. Here we developed a new, highly versatile method of creating ambiguous hybrid images comprising two component objects belonging to distinct categories. We used these hybrids to measure perceptual biases in object classification and found that images of man-made (manufactured) objects dominated those of naturally occurring (non-man-made) ones in hybrids. This dominance generalised to a broad range of object categories, persisted when the horizontal and vertical elements that dominate man-made objects were removed, and increased with the real-world size of the manufactured object. Our findings show for the first time that people have perceptual biases to see man-made objects and suggest that extended exposure to manufactured environments in our urban-living participants has presumably changed the way that they see the world.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: natural images, ambiguity, rapid classification, perceptual bias, prior expectations
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Optometry & Visual Science
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23016
[img]
Preview
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (775kB) | Preview

Export

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login