Contrast- and illumination-invariant object recognition from active sensation

Ingo Rentschler, Erol Osman and Martin Jüttner 

It has been suggested that the deleterious effect of contrast reversal on visual recognition is unique to faces, not objects. Here we show from priming, supervised category learning, and generalization that there is no such thing as general invariance of recognition of non-face objects against contrast reversal and, likewise, changes in direction of illumination. However, when recognition varies with rendering conditions, invariance may be restored, and effects of continuous learning may be reduced, by providing prior object knowledge from active sensation. Our findings suggest that the degree of contrast invariance achieved reflects functional characteristics of object representations learned in a task-dependent fashion.

Keywords: object recognition, invariant recognition, haptic object recognition, contrast reversal, direction of illumination, categorisation

Rentschler, I., Osman, E. & Jüttner (2009). Contrast-invariant object recognition from active sensation. Spatial Vision 22, 383-396.