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Roles of familiarity and novelty in visual preference judgments are segregated across object categories

Park, Junghyun and Shimojo, Eiko and Shimojo, Shinsuke (2010) Roles of familiarity and novelty in visual preference judgments are segregated across object categories. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (33). pp. 14552-14555. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC2930416.

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Understanding preference decision making is a challenging problem because the underlying process is often implicit and dependent on context, including past experience. There is evidence for both familiarity and novelty as critical factors for preference in adults and infants. To resolve this puzzling contradiction, we examined the cumulative effects of visual exposure in different object categories, including faces, natural scenes, and geometric figures, in a two-alternative preference task. The results show a clear segregation of preference across object categories, with familiarity preference dominant in faces and novelty preference dominant in natural scenes. No strong bias was observed in geometric figures. The effects were replicated even when images were converted to line drawings, inverted, or presented only briefly, and also when spatial frequency and contour distribution were controlled. The effects of exposure were reset by a blank of 1 wk or 3 wk. Thus, the category-specific segregation of familiarity and novelty preferences is based on quick visual categorization and cannot be caused by the difference in low-level visual features between object categories. Instead, it could be due either to different biological significances/attractiveness criteria across these categories, or to some other factors, such as differences in within-category variance and adaptive tuning of the perceptual system.

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Additional Information:© 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. Communicated by Richard M. Held, New England College of Optometry, Cambridge, MA, June 17, 2010 (received for review January 21, 2010). Published online before print August 2, 2010. We thank Stephen Schleim and Lauren LeBon for their assistance with the experiments, Daw-An Wu for his thorough reading and comments on the manuscript, and Makio Kashino for a theoretical insight in interpretation. This research was supported by a Japan Science and Technology Agency Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology grant and National Institutes of Health Grant EY013274. Author contributions: J.P., E.S., and S.S. designed research; J.P. and E.S. performed research; J.P. and E.S. analyzed data; and J.P. and S.S. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. J.P. and E.S. contributed equally to this work
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Japan Science and Technology AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:face; natural scene; visual classification; memory; decision making
Issue or Number:33
PubMed Central ID:PMC2930416
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100913-100054923
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:19896
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Sep 2010 21:24
Last Modified:02 Jun 2020 21:08

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