Paper in PLoS ONE
  • Harris IM, Dux PE, Benito CT, Leek EC (2008) Orientation Sensitivity at Different Stages of Object Processing: Evidence from Repetition Priming and Naming. PLoS ONE, 3(5): e2256. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002256.


    An ongoing debate in the object recognition literature centers on whether the shape representations used in recognition are coded in an orientation-dependent or orientation-invariant manner. In this study, we asked whether the nature of the object representation (orientation-dependent vs orientation-invariant) depends on the information-processing stages tapped by the task.

    We employed a repetition priming paradigm in which briefly presented masked objects (primes) were followed by an upright target object which had to be named as rapidly as possible. The primes were presented for variable durations (ranging from 16 to 350 ms) and in various image-plane orientations (from 0° to 180°, in 30° steps). Significant priming was obtained for prime durations above 70 ms, but not for prime durations of 16 ms and 47 ms, and did not vary as a function of prime orientation. In contrast, naming the same objects that served as primes resulted in orientation-dependent reaction time costs.

    These results suggest that initial processing of object identity is mediated by orientation-independent information and that orientation costs in performance arise when objects are consolidated in visual short-term memory in order to be reported.