Learning illumination- and orientation-invariant representations of objects through temporal association

Guy Wallis, Benjamin T. Backus, Michael Langer, Gesche Huebner, Heinrich Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


As the orientation or illumination of an object changes so does its appearance. This paper considers how observers are nonetheless able to recognize objects that have undergone such changes. In particular the paper tests the hypothesis that observers rely on temporal correlations between different object views to decide whether they are views of the same object or not. In a series of experiments subjects were shown a sequence of views representing a slowly transforming object. Testing revealed that subjects had formed object representations which were directly influenced by the temporal characteristics of the training views. In particular, introducing spurious correlations between views of different people's heads caused subjects to regard those views as being of a single person. This rapid and robust overriding of basic generalization processes supports the view that our recognition system tracks the correlated appearance of views of objects across time. Such view associations appear to allow the visual system to solve the view invariance problem without recourse to complex illumination models for extracting 3D form, or the use of the image plane transformations required to make appearance-based comparisons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul 10


  • Face recognition
  • Learning
  • Object recognition
  • Visual cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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