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Object recognition relies on invariant representations. A longstanding view states that invariances are learned by explicitly coding how visual features are related in space. Here, we asked how invariances are learned for objects that are defined by relations among features in time (temporal objects). We trained people to classify auditory, visual and spatial temporal objects composed of four successive features into categories defined by sequential transitions across a two-dimensional feature manifold, and measured their tendency to transfer this knowledge to categorise novel objects with rotated transition vectors. Rotation-invariant temporal objects could only be learned if their features were explicitly spatial or had been associated with a physical spatial location in a prior task. Thus, space acts as a scaffold for generalising information in time. 



Find out more about the speaker here.  

The seminar will take place in person only at the Department of Experimental Psychology, New Radcliffe House (Seminar Room, 2nd Floor), Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford OX2 6GG. 

If you have suggestions for future speakers, please contact Lauren (, or Nima ( They are also looking for postdocs to help coordinate future BEACON Seminars.  Please get in touch if you are interested In joining the BEACON planning committee.