The information content of scene categories

Publication Title

Psychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory

Document Type

Book Chapter

Department or Program


Publication Date



Categories, Information, Objects, Scenes


Visual scenes, like other natural kinds, have a rich category structure. How do observers use this structure to aid perception? In this chapter, I will examine the link between scene category labels and perceptual processes. Scenes in the same category tend to share a number of features that can help the observer classify the scene. However, this process is bi-directional: given a scene label, observers are better able to classify visual content. Altogether, these results illustrate that visual perception and semantic knowledge are intimately connected, and that shared information between the two help disambiguate the complexities of the visual world.

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