Special Issue "Visual Symmetry"

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Yuka Sasaki

Brown University, Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Box 1821, 190 Thayer Street Providence, RI 02912, USA
E-Mail
Interests: unconscious brain activity; visual/motor skill learning during wakefulness and sleep; non-invasive neuroimaging techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Humans have appreciated and created symmetric objects in all ages and cultures. Why does symmetry attract us so much? In this special issue of Symmetry, we focus on visual symmetry. We call for papers to gather behavioral and neuroimaging evidence for visual symmetry to attract, influence and bias humans and animals preference, and decision-making, in hope to deepen understanding of our appreciation of symmetry.

Dr. Yuka Sasaki
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Symmetry is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • vision
  • perception
  • decision-making
  • electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Can the Comparisons of Feature Locations Explain the Difficulty in Discriminating Mirror-Reflected Pairs of Geometrical Figures from Disoriented Identical Pairs?
Symmetry 2015, 7(1), 89-104; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym7010089
Received: 24 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7044 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present experiment investigates whether patterns of shifts of feature locations could affect the same/different decisions of simultaneously presented pairs of geometrical figures. A shift of locations was defined as the angular distance from the location of a feature in one figure to
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The present experiment investigates whether patterns of shifts of feature locations could affect the same/different decisions of simultaneously presented pairs of geometrical figures. A shift of locations was defined as the angular distance from the location of a feature in one figure to the location of the same feature in another figure. It was hypothesized that the difficulty in discriminating mirror-reflected (or axisymmetric) pairs from disoriented identical pairs was caused by complex shifting patterns inherent in axisymmetric pairs. According to the shifts of the locations of the four structural features, five pair types were prepared. They could be ordered from completely identical to completely different in their shifts: identical 0/4 pairs, non-identical 1/4 pairs, non-identical 2/4 pairs = axisymmetric 2/4 pairs and non-identical 4/4 pairs. The latencies for non-identical pairs decreased with the increase of difference in the shifts of feature locations, indicating that serial, self-terminating comparisons of the shifts were applied to the discrimination of non-identical pairs from identical pairs. However, the longer latencies in axisymmetric 2/4 pairs than in non-identical 2/4 pairs suggested that the difficulty for axisymmetric pairs was not caused by the complex shifting patterns, and the difficulty was not satisfactorily explained by the comparisons of feature locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Symmetry)
Open AccessArticle Gestalt Algebra—A Proposal for the Formalization of Gestalt Perception and Rendering
Symmetry 2014, 6(3), 566-577; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym6030566
Received: 14 February 2014 / Revised: 17 June 2014 / Accepted: 19 June 2014 / Published: 7 July 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gestalt Algebra gives a formal structure suitable for describing complex patterns in the image plain. This can be useful for recognizing hidden structure in images. The work at hand refers to the laws of perceptual psychology. A manifold called the Gestalt Domain is
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Gestalt Algebra gives a formal structure suitable for describing complex patterns in the image plain. This can be useful for recognizing hidden structure in images. The work at hand refers to the laws of perceptual psychology. A manifold called the Gestalt Domain is defined. Next to the position in 2D it also contains an orientation and a scale component. Algebraic operations on it are given for mirror symmetry as well as organization into rows. Additionally the Gestalt Domain contains an assessment component, and all the meaning of the operations implementing the Gestalt-laws is realized in the functions giving this component. The operation for mirror symmetry is binary, combining two parts into one aggregate as usual in standard algebra. The operation for organization into rows, however, combines n parts into an aggregate, where n may well be more than two. This is algebra in its more general sense. For recognition, primitives are extracted from digital raster images by Lowe’s Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT). Lowe’s key-point descriptors can also be utilized. Experiments are reported with a set of images put forth for the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops (CVPR) 2013 symmetry contest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Symmetry)
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Open AccessArticle Domain Specificity in Human Symmetry Preferences: Symmetry is Most Pleasant When Looking at Human Faces
Symmetry 2014, 6(2), 222-233; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym6020222
Received: 21 February 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 26 March 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3443 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Visual symmetry has been found to be preferred to asymmetry in a variety of domains and across species. A number of theories propose to explain why symmetry is preferred. In this article, I compare a perceptual bias view, in which symmetry is preferred
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Visual symmetry has been found to be preferred to asymmetry in a variety of domains and across species. A number of theories propose to explain why symmetry is preferred. In this article, I compare a perceptual bias view, in which symmetry is preferred due to factors inherit to the visual system, and an evolutionary advantage view, in which symmetry is preferred due to selection pressures on partner preference. Preferences for symmetry in three stimulus types were determined by having symmetric and asymmetric versions of the same images rated for pleasantness: human female faces, macaque monkey faces, and abstract art. It was found that preferences for symmetry were strongest for human female faces and weakest for art. This finding builds on previous research suggesting that symmetry preferences for human faces are different from symmetry preferences in other domains and that simple perceptual bias explanations do not wholly explain human visual face symmetry preferences. While consistent with an evolutionary advantage view, these data are also potentially explainable via a perceptual bias view which accounts for experience of stimuli. The interplay between these two views is discussed in the context of the current study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Symmetry)
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Open AccessArticle Peripheral Contour Grouping and Saccade Targeting: The Role of Mirror Symmetry
Symmetry 2014, 6(1), 1-22; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym6010001
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 30 December 2013 / Accepted: 30 December 2013 / Published: 2 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Integrating shape contours in the visual periphery is vital to our ability to locate objects and thus make targeted saccadic eye movements to efficiently explore our surroundings. We tested whether global shape symmetry facilitates peripheral contour integration and saccade targeting in three experiments,
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Integrating shape contours in the visual periphery is vital to our ability to locate objects and thus make targeted saccadic eye movements to efficiently explore our surroundings. We tested whether global shape symmetry facilitates peripheral contour integration and saccade targeting in three experiments, in which observers responded to a successful peripheral contour detection by making a saccade towards the target shape. The target contours were horizontally (Experiment 1) or vertically (Experiments 2 and 3) mirror symmetric. Observers responded by making a horizontal (Experiments 1 and 2) or vertical (Experiment 3) eye movement. Based on an analysis of the saccadic latency and accuracy, we conclude that the figure-ground cue of global mirror symmetry in the periphery has little effect on contour integration or on the speed and precision with which saccades are targeted towards objects. The role of mirror symmetry may be more apparent under natural viewing conditions with multiple objects competing for attention, where symmetric regions in the visual field can pre-attentively signal the presence of objects, and thus attract eye movements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Symmetry)

Review

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Open AccessReview Brain Activity in Response to Visual Symmetry
Symmetry 2014, 6(4), 975-996; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym6040975
Received: 11 October 2014 / Revised: 22 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 2 December 2014
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (25941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A number of studies have explored visual symmetry processing by measuring event related potentials and neural oscillatory activity. There is a sustained posterior negativity (SPN) related to the presence of symmetry. There is also functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity in extrastriate visual
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A number of studies have explored visual symmetry processing by measuring event related potentials and neural oscillatory activity. There is a sustained posterior negativity (SPN) related to the presence of symmetry. There is also functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity in extrastriate visual areas and in the lateral occipital complex. We summarise the evidence by answering six questions. (1) Is there an automatic and sustained response to symmetry in visual areas? Answer: Yes, and this suggests automatic processing of symmetry. (2) Which brain areas are involved in symmetry perception? Answer: There is an extended network from extrastriate areas to higher areas. (3) Is reflection special? Answer: Reflection is the optimal stimulus for a more general regularity-sensitive network. (4) Is the response to symmetry independent of view angle? Answer: When people classify patterns as symmetrical or random, the response to symmetry is view-invariant. When people attend to other dimensions, the network responds to residual regularity in the image. (5) How are brain rhythms in the two hemispheres altered during symmetry perception? Answer: Symmetry processing (rather than presence) produces more alpha desynchronization in the right posterior regions. Finally, (6) does symmetry processing produce positive affect? Answer: Not in the strongest sense, but behavioural measures reveal implicit positive evaluation of abstract symmetry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Symmetry)
Open AccessReview Symmetry Detection in Visual Impairment: Behavioral Evidence and Neural Correlates
Symmetry 2014, 6(2), 427-443; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym6020427
Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 13 May 2014 / Accepted: 14 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bilateral symmetry is an extremely salient feature for the human visual system. An interesting issue is whether the perceptual salience of symmetry is rooted in normal visual development. In this review, we discuss empirical work on visual and tactile symmetry detection in normally
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Bilateral symmetry is an extremely salient feature for the human visual system. An interesting issue is whether the perceptual salience of symmetry is rooted in normal visual development. In this review, we discuss empirical work on visual and tactile symmetry detection in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. On the one hand, available evidence suggests that efficient visual symmetry detection may need normal binocular vision development. On the other hand, converging evidence suggests that symmetry can develop as a principle of haptic perceptual organization in individuals lacking visual experience. Certain features of visual symmetry detection, however, such as the higher salience of the patterns containing a vertical axis of symmetry, do not systematically apply to the haptic modality. The neural correlates (revealed with neuroimaging) associated with visual and haptic symmetry detection are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Symmetry)
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