Judgements of style: People, pigeons, and Picasso

Stephanie C. Goodhew (2007). Judgements of style: People, pigeons, and Picasso Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, University of Queensland.

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Author Stephanie C. Goodhew
Thesis Title Judgements of style: People, pigeons, and Picasso
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2007-10-16
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Jason Tangen
Total pages 98
Language eng
Subjects 380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract/Summary Judgements of and sensitivity to style are ubiquitous. People become sensitive to the structural regularities of complex or “polymorphous” categories through exposure to individual examples, which allows them respond to new items that are of the same style as those previously experienced. This thesis investigates whether a dimension reduction mechanism could account for how people learn about the structure of complex categories. That is, whether through experience, people extract the primary dimensions of variation in a category and use these to analyse and categorise subsequent instances. We used Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) as the method of dimension reduction, which yields the main dimensions of variation of pixel-based stimuli (eigenvectors). We then tested whether a simple autoassociative network could learn to distinguish paintings by Picasso and Braque which were reconstructed from only these primary dimensions of variation. The network could correctly classify the stimuli, and its performance was optimal with reconstructions based on just the first few eigenvectors. Then we reconstructed the paintings using either just the first 10 (early reconstructions) or all 1,894 eigenvectors (full reconstructions), and asked human participants to categorise the images. We found that people could categorise the images with either the early or full reconstructions. Therefore, people could learn to distinguish category membership based on the reduced set of dimensions obtained from SVD. This suggests that a dimension reduction mechanism analogous to SVD may be operating when people learn about the structure and regularities in complex categories.
Keyword Cognition
Concept formation
Category learning
Computational modelling
Singular-Value Decomposition (SVD)
Additional Notes This is an honours thesis.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Sat, 24 May 2008, 23:52:26 EST by Miss Stephanie Goodhew on behalf of School of Psychology