The influence of visual symmetry on the encoding of objects

J de Kuijer, J.b. Deregowski, Peter McGeorge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Two experiments examined how symmetry affects the visual encoding of simple flat objects (lamellae). Experiment 1 showed that subjects encode a lamella's shape as both a facsimile and its enantiomorph. In Experiment 2 the errors made when responding to symmetrical and asymmetrical stimuli showed that there were three factors affecting the reproduction of a symmetrical stimulus. These are, in order of decreasing influence, (i) the orientation of the axis of symmetry, (ii) the presence of overall symmetry (irrespective of orientation), and (iii) identity of the orientation of the elements of the response in relation to those of the stimulus. They also show that symmetry is likely to be reproduced even where the reproduction is not of the same shape as the original stimulus. The relevance of these results to representation of objects is discussed. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-91
Number of pages17
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • symmetry
  • visual discrimination
  • visual perception
  • developmental
  • KOHS-type figures
  • bilateral symmetry
  • mirror symmetry
  • dot patterns
  • orientation
  • children
  • discrimination
  • reproduction
  • recognition
  • perception


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