Individual cells respond to certain shapes
In 1959 David Huber and Tors ten Wiesel showed that some cells in the visual cortex respond only to horizontal lines, others respond only to vertical lines, others respond only to edges, and still others respond only to certain angles.
THE GEON THEORY OF OBJECT RECOGNITION
There have been many theories over the years about how we see and recognize
objects. An early theory was that the brain has a memory bank that stores millions of
objects, and when you see an object, you compare it with all the items in your memory
bank until you find the one that matches. But research now suggests that you recognize
basic shapes in what you are looking at, and use these basic shapes, called geometric
icons (or geons), to identify objects. Irving Biederman came up with the idea of geons
in 1985 (Figure 3.2). It’s thought that there are 24 basic shapes that we recognize; they
form the building blocks of all the objects we see and identify.
The visual cortex is more active when you are imagining
The visual cortex is more active when you are imagining something than when you are
actually perceiving it (Solso, 2005). Activity occurs in the same location in the visual cortex,
but there is more activity when we imagine. The theory is that the visual cortex has
to work harder since the stimulus is not actually present.
Use patterns as much as possible, since people will automatically be looking for them.
Use grouping and white space to create patterns.
If you want people to recognize an object (for example, an icon), use a simple geometric
drawing of the object. This will make it easier to recognize the underlying goons,
and thus make the object easier and faster to recognize.
Favor 2D elements over 3D ones. The eyes communicate what they see to the brain
as a 2D object. 3D representations on the screen may actually slow down recognition