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Rentschler, Ingo; Barth, Erhardt; Caelli, Terry; Zetzsche, Christoph and Jüttner, Martin (1996): Generalization of form in visual pattern classification. In: Spatial Vision, Vol. 10, No. 1: pp. 59-85 [PDF, 15MB]

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Human observers were trained to criterion in classifying compound Gabor signals with sym- metry relationships, and were then tested with each of 18 blob-only versions of the learning set. General- ization to dark-only and light-only blob versions of the learning signals, as well as to dark-and-light blob versions was found to be excellent, thus implying virtually perfect generalization of the ability to classify mirror-image signals. The hypothesis that the learning signals are internally represented in terms of a 'blob code' with explicit labelling of contrast polarities was tested by predicting observed generalization behaviour in terms of various types of signal representations (pixelwise, Laplacian pyramid, curvature pyramid, ON/OFF, local maxima of Laplacian and curvature operators) and a minimum-distance rule. Most representations could explain generalization for dark-only and light-only blob patterns but not for the high-thresholded versions thereof. This led to the proposal of a structure-oriented blob-code. Whether such a code could be used in conjunction with simple classifiers or should be transformed into a propo- sitional scheme of representation operated upon by a rule-based classification process remains an open question.

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