Describe The Recognition By Components (Geon) Theory Of Object Recognition And Discuss Its Strengths As A Theory Of Object Recognition.

1655 words - 7 pages

5/12/2005
Describe the Recognition-By-Components (Geon) theory of object recognition and discuss its strengths as a theory of object recognitionAtkinson et al (2000) described object recognition as deciding the meaning of an object; it is described as being essential to survival, as if we do not know what an object is, we cannot react to it in an appropriate way. For example, once we realize that the object in front of us is a crocodile, we can react in the appropriate way by leaving the area very quickly. Object recognition also stops us from reacting in an inappropriate way, such as petting the crocodile. There are three major goals of perception; recognition, localization, and object constancy. "Perceptual constancy" is explained as "keeping the appearance of objects constant even though their impressions on the retina are constantly changing" (Atkinson et al, 2000), while "spatial localization" is also important to our survival, and refers to determining where visual objects are located (Atkinson et al, 2000). Here we will be focusing on a specific theory of object recognition, Irving Biederman's Recognition-By-Components theory.Biederman's (1987) Recognition-By-Components (RBC) theory of object recognition reasons why objects which have changed in size or orientation can still be identified. It also explains why some objects which have been somewhat degraded or impaired can be recognised. The main proposal which RBC identified was that objects consist of components known as geons (geometric icons). Biederman suggested that there are around thirty-six different examples of geons, (1990), some examples of which are wedges, arcs, spheres, cylinders, and blocks. Biederman (1987) estimated that just these thirty-six different types of geons could produce millions of exclusive objects. When identifying an object, it is done identifying the constituent geons of the object, followed by the interrelations of the object, which include aspects such as size and relative location. Then, we match its shapes with the most accurate fit among our internal representations of those shapes which we determine we are looking at.Additionally, since we often see shapes from different angles, Biederman explained the features which help us to determine an object's identity, despite any perceptual differences. These features are called the five invariant properties of edges, and respectively are titled; curvature, parallel, co-termination, symmetry, and co-linearity.Recognition-By-Components theory was originally created to explain a basic recognition of objects; primal recognition. This does not use high-level cognitive processes, and is very fast acting. Alternatively, high-level processing may entail the use of texture, color, or shading in the finer discrimination of objects. Additionally, top-down processing can occur when environmental cues are used to identify exceptionally difficult instances of objects, such as if an object is partially occluded. For...

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