Active and passive scene recognition across views

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent evidence suggests that scene recognition across views is impaired when an array of objects rotates relative to a stationary observer, but not when the observer moves relative to a stationary display [Simons, D.J., Wang, R.F., 1998. Perceiving real-world viewpoint changes. Psychological Science 9, 315-320]. The experiments in this report examine whether the relatively poorer performance by stationary observers across view changes results from a lack of perceptual information for the rotation or from the lack of active control of the perspective change, both of which are present for viewpoint changes. Three experiments compared performance when observers passively experienced the view change and when they actively caused the change. Even with visual information and active control over the display rotation, change detection performance was still worse for orientation changes than for viewpoint changes. These findings suggest that observers can update a viewer- centered representation of a scene when they move to a different viewing position, but such updating does not occur during display rotations even with visual and motor information for the magnitude of the change. This experimental approach, using arrays of real objects rather than computer displays of isolated individual objects, can shed light on mechanisms that allow accurate recognition despite changes in the observer's position and orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-210
Number of pages20
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Rotation
  • Scene recognition
  • Viewer-centered representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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