The difference between objects and scenes... random thoughts

I'm in the middle of my qualification exams and ran across this interesting paper:

Liu, Z Kersten, D Knill, DC Dissociating stimulus information from internal representation--a case study in object recognition. Vision research. 1999; 39(3): 603-12.

However, I'm very confused about them calling the figure on the left an object. This is a collection of objects in 3D space - making it a scene. I'm not sure that this nullifies their model - but this is not object recognition.

i-e700e8ea8aa97020b765b2a6797ebd16-liu.gif

People should really start using ideal observer analysis with scene perception...

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Umm. But, that is the point. They are an "object". They are an object called a "scene". I.e., when you look at them, you naturally group them together as one "thing". In a 3D application, you might even do this implicitly, if you planned to move them all at the same time, in the same way, or export them, then reimport them someplace else, or you wanted to make multiple copies of the same "collection" of objects. So, they "are" an object, at least in the sense that our brain sees them as "belonging" to the same meta-object.

I'm teaching about opponent processes in color vision today and thought I'd share one of my favorite examples. This is how you use the human visual system to turn a black and white photo into color. Try it out:

I came across an example of object vs scene perception in rats yesterday. Basically, task performance after a lesion for novel object recognition appeared to depend on the size of the box the object was viewed in. The authors (review authors) interpreted this result as a encoding the object as an object vs as a feature in a scene.

Paper is here : http://www.bbsonline.org/Preprints/OldArchive/bbs.aggleton.html, the relevant paragraph is above section 3.2 and begins : "A final factor concerns the type of stimulus being tested."

"Engineering is hard, but science is damn near impossible!" -- unknown