Sensitivity to Three-Dimensional Orientation in Visual Search
James T. Enns and Ronald A. Rensink, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Psychological Science, 1:323-326. 1990.   [pdf]


Previous theories of early vision have assumed that visual search is based on simple two-dimensional aspects of an image, such as the orientation of edges and lines. It is shown here that search can also be based on three-dimensional orientation of objects in the corresponding scene, provided that these objects are simple convex blocks. Direct comparison shows that image-based and scene-based orientation are similar in their ability to facilitate search. These findings support the hypothesis that scene-based properties are represented at preattentive levels in early vision.

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