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Data from: A perceptual bias for man-made objects in humans

Citation

Hussain Ismail, Ahamed Miflah; Solomon, Joshua; Hansard, Miles; Mareschal, Isabelle (2020), Data from: A perceptual bias for man-made objects in humans, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q3j21m8

Abstract

Ambiguous images are widely recognized as a valuable tool for probing human perception. Perceptual biases that arise when people make judgements about ambiguous images reveal their expectations about the environment. While perceptual biases in early visual processing have been well established, their existence in higher-level vision has been explored only for faces, which may be processed differently from other objects. Here we developed a new, highly versatile method of creating ambiguous hybrid images comprising two component objects belonging to distinct categories. We used these hybrids to measure perceptual biases in object classification and found that images of man-made (manufactured) objects dominated those of naturally occurring (non-man-made) ones in hybrids. This dominance generalised to a broad range of object categories, persisted when the horizontal and vertical elements that dominate man-made objects were removed, and increased with the real-world size of the manufactured object. Our findings show for the first time that people have perceptual biases to see man-made objects and suggest that extended exposure to manufactured environments in our urban-living participants has changed the way that they see the world.

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