Asymmetries in perception of 3D orientation

Academic Article


  • Visual scene interpretation depends on assumptions based on the statistical regularities of the world. People have some preference for seeing ambiguously oriented objects (Necker cubes) as if tilted down or viewed from above. This bias is a near certainty in the first instant (∼1 s) of viewing and declines over the course of many seconds. In addition, we found that there is modulation of perceived orientation that varies with position - for example objects on the left are more likely to be interpreted as viewed from the right. Therefore there is both a viewed-from-above prior and a scene position-dependent modulation of perceived 3-D orientation. These results are consistent with the idea that ambiguously oriented objects are initially assigned an orientation consistent with our experience of an asymmetric world in which objects most probably sit on surfaces below eye level. © 2010 Dobbins, Grossmann.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • PLoS ONE  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dobbins AC; Grossmann JK
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 3