Connectedness and part-relation integration in shape category learning

Jun Saiki, John E. Hummel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the role of connectedness in the use of part-relation conjunctions for object category learning. Participants learned categories of two-part objects defined by the shape of one part and its location relative to the other (part-relation conjunctions). The topological relationship between the parts (connected, separated, or embedded) varied between participants but was invariant for any given participant. In Experiment 1, category learning was faster and more accurate when an object's parts were connected than when they were either separated or embedded. Subsequent experiments showed that this effect is not due to conscious strategies, differences in the salience of the individual attributes, or differences in the integrality/separability of dimensions across stimuli. The results suggest that connectedness affects the integration of parts with their relations in object category learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1156
Number of pages19
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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