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Invited Talk + Q&A
Workshop: Object-Oriented Learning: Perception, Representation, and Reasoning

"The treachery of images": How the realness of objects affects brain activation and behavior

Jody Culham


Two-dimensional images are commonly used to study and model perceptual and cognitive processes because of the convenience and ease of experimental control they provide. However, real objects differ from pictures in many ways, including the potential for interaction and richer information about distance and thus size. Across a series of neuroimaging studies and behavioral experiments in adults, we have shown different responses to real objects than pictures. Moreover, we have found behavioral differences between real objects and pictures even in infants, suggesting that realness plays an important role in learning about objects. These results can inform the next generation of computational models as to how human brains learn to process objects in the real world.

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