Representing, perceiving, and remembering the shape of visual space

Aude Oliva, Soojin Park, Talia Konkle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Our ability to recognize the current environment determines our ability to act strategically, for example when selecting a route for walking, anticipating where objects are likely to appear, and knowing what behaviors are appropriate in a particular context. Whereas objects are typically entities that we act upon, environments are entities that we act within or navigate towards: they extend in space and encompass the observer. Because of this, we often acquire information about our surroundings by moving our head and eyes, getting at each instant a different snapshot or view of the world. Perceived snapshots are integrated with the memory of what has just been seen (Hochberg, 1986; Hollingworth and Henderson, 2004; Irwin et al., 1990; Oliva et al., 2004; Park and Chun, 2009), and with what has been stored over a lifetime of visual experience with the world. In this chapter, we review studies in the behavioral, computational, and cognitive neuroscience domains that describe the role of the shape of the space in human visual perception. In other words, how do people perceive, represent, and remember the size, geometric structure, and shape features of visual scenes? One important caveat is that we typically experience space in a threedimensional physical world, but we often study our perception of space through two-dimensional pictures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVision in 3D Environments
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9780511736261
ISBN (Print)9781107001756
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2011.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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