Object Axes, Object Orientation, & Object Shape

This project explores the role of coordinate axes in representing object orientation and shape in the visual system.  Methods include

  • analysis of adults’ and children’s errors in memory for object orientation
  • analysis of errors in perception of object orientation in a woman with a developmental deficit in visual location and orientation perception
  • fMRI studies probing neural representation of object orientation

Among the conclusions emerging from the studies are

  • object orientation is represented as a relationship between object-centered and extrinsic frames of reference
  • orientation representations are compositional, consisting of multiple independent parameters
  • orientation errors occur when one or more parameters of an orientation representation are missing or erroneous, with the type of error depending on the parameter(s) affected
  • the principal axis of an object-centered reference frame is defined to coincide with the object’s axis of elongation, and not with a global shape axis

Current studies are exploring

  • the role of object-part axes in representing object shape
  • tactile vs. visual representations of object orientation

Relevant Publications

Chaisilprungraung, T., German, J., & McCloskey, M. (2019).  How are object shape axes defined? Evidence from mirror-image confusions.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45, 111-124.

Gregory, E., Landau, B., & McCloskey, M.  (2011).  Representation of Object Orientation in Children: Evidence from Mirror-Image Confusions.  Visual Cognition, 19, 1035-1062.

Gregory, E., & McCloskey, M.  (2010).  Mirror-image confusions: Implications for representation and processing of object orientation.  Cognition, 116, 110-129.

Hatfield, M., McCloskey, M., & Park, S.  (2016).  Neural representation of object orientation: A dissociation between MVPA and repetition suppression. Neuroimage, 139, 136-148.

McCloskey, M.  (2009).  Visual reflections: A perceptual deficit and its implications. New York: Oxford University Press.

McCloskey, M., Valtonen, J., & Sherman, J.  (2006). Representing orientation: A coordinate-system hypothesis, and evidence from developmental deficits.  Cognitive Neuropsychology, 23, 680-713.