J Vis. 2022 Nov 1;22(12):1. doi: 10.1167/jov.22.12.1.
Previous work has claimed that canonical viewpoints of objects are more readily perceived than noncanonical viewpoints. However, all of these studies required participants to identify the object, a late perceptual process at best and arguably a cognitive process (Pylyshyn, 1999). Here, we extend this work to early vision by removing the explicit need to identify the objects. In particular, we asked participants to make an intact/scrambled discrimination of briefly presented objects that were viewed from either typical or atypical viewpoints. Notably, participants did not have to identify the object; only discriminate it from noise (scrambled). Participants were more sensitive in discriminating objects presented in typically encountered orientations than when objects were presented in atypical depth rotations (Experiment 1). However, the same effect for objects presented in atypical picture plane rotations (as opposed to typical ones) did not reach statistical significance (Experiments 2 and 3), suggesting that particular informative views may play a critical role in this effect. We interpret this enhanced perceptibility, for both these items and good exemplars and probable scenes, as deriving from their high real-world statistical regularity.