Contrast- and illumination-invariant object recognition from active sensation

Ingo Rentschler, Erol Osman, Martin Jüttner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been suggested that the deleterious effect of contrast reversal on visual recognition is unique to faces, not objects. Here we show from priming, supervised category learning, and generalization that there is no such thing as general invariance of recognition of non-face objects against contrast reversal and, likewise, changes in direction of illumination. However, when recognition varies with rendering conditions, invariance may be restored, and effects of continuous learning may be reduced, by providing prior object knowledge from active sensation. Our findings suggest that the degree of contrast invariance achieved reflects functional characteristics of object representations learned in a task-dependent fashion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-396
Number of pages14
JournalSpatial vision
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


  • object recognition
  • invariant recognition
  • contrast reversal
  • direction of illumination
  • categorisation


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