Special Issue "Symmetry-Related Activity in Mid-Level Vision"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marco Bertamini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Visual Perception Lab, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZA, UK
Interests: Shape perception; Naive physics; Multisensory perception; Evolutionary psychology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alexis Makin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZA, UK
Interests: Empirical Aesthetics; Symmetry Perception; Velocity Perception; Smooth Pursuit Eye Movements; Prediction-Motion Tasks
Dr. Zaira Cattaneo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milano
Interests: Visual perception; Spatial attention; Neuroaesthetic; Effects of sensory deprivation on attention and cognition; Brain stimulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last decade, there has been substantial progress in understanding the neural basis of symmetry processing and perception. There have been contributions from psychophysics, neuroimaging, and cognitive neuroscience. For example, neural activation in response to the presence of symmetry in an image appears to be automatic. Nevertheless, many questions regarding the perception of symmetry remain.

On 9 June, a workshop on Neuroscience of Symmetry was held in Liverpool. The one-day meeting brought together many of the leading scientists working on symmetry perception and neuroscience, and was supported by the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS). From the workshop, and from other work in the field, we intend to generate a series of contributions to a Special Issue in the journal Symmetry.

The Special Issue is open to submissions of previously-unpublished experimental and prospective works, extended articles and review papers on the following and related topics:

Visual perception of symmetry
Brain activity in response to regularity
Formal models of symmetry and global shape processing
Neuroimaging studies of symmetry
Comparative studies of symmetry

Authors are asked to pay a fee of 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs) (Approx. 800 Pounds) per paper if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review. There are no submission charges.  If more than 10 papers are published in the Special Issue, the entire issue may be published in book format.

Dr. Marco Bertamini
Dr. Alexis Makin
Dr. Zaira Cattaneo
Guest Editors

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 1400 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.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Intrasession Reliability of the Tests to Determine Lateral Asymmetry and Performance in Volleyball Players
Symmetry 2018, 10(9), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym10090416 - 19 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The development of lateral asymmetries in athletes could have an influence on performance or injuries. The aim of this study was to determine the within-day reliability of the symmetry tests and the performance tests, and explore the relationship between them. Eighteen male volleyball [...] Read more.
The development of lateral asymmetries in athletes could have an influence on performance or injuries. The aim of this study was to determine the within-day reliability of the symmetry tests and the performance tests, and explore the relationship between them. Eighteen male volleyball players (18.1 ± 2.1 years) participated in this study. Seven lateral symmetry assessments were used, namely: lateral symmetry through tensiomyography (LS), active knee extension (AKE), Y-balance test (YBT), muscular electrical activity in attack jump (MEA-AJ), single-leg squat jump (SLSJ), triple hop test for distance (THTD), and bilateral maximum repetition in leg press (1RMSL); and three volleyball performance tests, namely: the T-test, counter-movement jump (CMJ), and attack jump (AJ). Three in-day measurements were taken from each volleyball player after the recovery was completed. The reliability was calculated through the intraclass correlation coefficient and the coefficient of variation, and the relationship was calculated through Pearson’s bivariate correlation coefficient (p < 0.05). The results indicate that AKE, YBT, and LS are the symmetry tests with increased reproducibility. THTD correlates positively with the AKE test and 1RMSL test, and a greater symmetry in the YBT correlates with a greater performance in the CMJ and AJ performance tests. In conclusion, AKE, LS, and YBT are the best tests to determine, with reliability, the asymmetries in volleyball players, and a greater symmetry in the YBT seems to influence the height of bilateral vertical jump. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry-Related Activity in Mid-Level Vision)
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Open AccessArticle
Perception of 3D Symmetrical and Nearly Symmetrical Shapes
Symmetry 2018, 10(8), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym10080344 - 16 Aug 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The human visual system uses priors to convert an ill-posed inverse problem of 3D shape recovery into a well-posed one. In previous studies, we have demonstrated the use of priors like symmetry, compactness and minimal surface in the perception of 3D symmetric shapes. [...] Read more.
The human visual system uses priors to convert an ill-posed inverse problem of 3D shape recovery into a well-posed one. In previous studies, we have demonstrated the use of priors like symmetry, compactness and minimal surface in the perception of 3D symmetric shapes. We also showed that binocular perception of symmetric shapes can be well modeled by the above-mentioned priors and binocular depth order information. In this study, which used a shape-matching task, we show that these priors can also be used to model perception of near-symmetrical shapes. Our near-symmetrical shapes are asymmetrical shapes obtained from affine distortions of symmetrical shapes. We found that the perception of symmetrical shapes is closer to veridical than the perception of asymmetrical shapes. We introduce a metric to measure asymmetry of abstract polyhedral shapes, and a similar metric to measure shape dissimilarity between two polyhedral shapes. We report some key observations obtained by analyzing the data from the experiment. A website was developed with all the shapes used in the experiment, along with the shapes recovered by the subject and the shapes recovered by the model. This website provides a qualitative analysis of the effectiveness of the model and also helps demonstrate the goodness of the shape metric. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry-Related Activity in Mid-Level Vision)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Spatiotemporal and Luminance Contrast Properties of Symmetry Perception
Symmetry 2018, 10(6), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym10060220 - 14 Jun 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Recent studies have shown that limiting the lifetime of pattern elements improves symmetry detection, potentially by increasing the number of element locations. Here, we investigate how spatial relocation, luminance contrast modulation and lifetime duration of elements affect symmetry perception in dynamic stimuli. Stimuli [...] Read more.
Recent studies have shown that limiting the lifetime of pattern elements improves symmetry detection, potentially by increasing the number of element locations. Here, we investigate how spatial relocation, luminance contrast modulation and lifetime duration of elements affect symmetry perception in dynamic stimuli. Stimuli were dynamic dot-patterns containing varying amounts of symmetry about a vertical axis. Symmetrical matched-pairs were: (i) relocated to multiple successive, but random locations (i.e., multiple locations condition); (ii) relocated between the same two locations (i.e., two locations condition); (iii) not, relocated, but their luminance contrast was modulated at different temporal frequencies (i.e., one location condition), and (iv) not relocated, but a single pattern was presented at full contrast (i.e., static condition). In the dynamic conditions, we varied the elements’ lifetime duration and temporal frequency of contrast modulation. We measured symmetry detection thresholds using a two-interval forced choice procedure. Our results show improved performance for the multiple locations condition compared to two-location and static conditions, suggesting a cumulative process whereby weak symmetry information is integrated by spatiotemporal filters to increase overall symmetry signal strength. Performance also improved for the static, contrast modulated patterns, but this was explained by a reduction in perceived density. This suggests that different mechanisms mediate symmetry detection in dynamic stimuli and static contrast modulated patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry-Related Activity in Mid-Level Vision)
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Open AccessArticle
The Posterior Sustained Negativity Revisited—An SPN Reanalysis of Jacobsen and Höfel (2003)
Symmetry 2018, 10(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym10010027 - 12 Jan 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Symmetry is an important cue for the aesthetic judgment of beauty. Using a binary forced-choice format in a cued mixed design, Jacobsen and Höfel (2003) compared aesthetic judgments of beauty and symmetry judgments of novel graphic patterns. A late posterior sustained negativity elicited [...] Read more.
Symmetry is an important cue for the aesthetic judgment of beauty. Using a binary forced-choice format in a cued mixed design, Jacobsen and Höfel (2003) compared aesthetic judgments of beauty and symmetry judgments of novel graphic patterns. A late posterior sustained negativity elicited by symmetric patterns was observed in the symmetry judgment condition, but not in the beauty judgement condition. Therefore, this negativity appeared to be mainly driven by the task.In a series of studies, Bertamini, Makin, and colleagues observed a comparable sustained posterior negativity (SPN) to symmetric stimuli, mainly taken to reflect obligatory symmetry processing independent of task requirements. We reanalyzed the data by Jacobsen and Höfel (2003) using similar parameters for data analysis as Bertamini, Makin, and colleagues to examine these apparent differences. The reanalysis confirmed both a task-driven effect on the posterior sustained negativity/SPN to symmetric patterns in the symmetry judgment condition and a strong symmetry-driven SPN to symmetric patterns. Differences between the references used for analyses of the electroencephalogram (EEG) had an effect. Based on the reanalysis, the Jacobsen and Höfel (2003) data also fit well with Bertamini’s, Makin’s, and colleagues’ account of obligatory symmetry processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry-Related Activity in Mid-Level Vision)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Opposition and Identicalness: Two Basic Components of Adults’ Perception and Mental Representation of Symmetry
Symmetry 2017, 9(8), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym9080128 - 25 Jul 2017
Abstract
Symmetry is a salient aspect of biological and man-made objects, and has a central role in perceptual organization. Two studies investigate the role of opposition and identicalness in shaping adults’ naïve idea of “symmetry”. In study 1, both verbal descriptions of symmetry (either [...] Read more.
Symmetry is a salient aspect of biological and man-made objects, and has a central role in perceptual organization. Two studies investigate the role of opposition and identicalness in shaping adults’ naïve idea of “symmetry”. In study 1, both verbal descriptions of symmetry (either provided by the participants or selected from among alternatives presented by the experimenter) and configurations drawn as exemplars of symmetry were studied. In study 2, a pair comparison task was used. Both studies focus on configurations formed by two symmetrical shapes (i.e., between-objects symmetry). Three main results emerged. The explicit description of symmetry provided by participants generally referred to features relating to the relationship perceived between the two shapes and not to geometrical point-by-point transformations. Despite the fact that people tended to avoid references to opposition in their verbal definition of symmetry in study 1, the drawings that they did to represent their prototypical idea of symmetry manifested opposition as a basic component. This latter result was confirmed when the participants were asked to select the definition (in study 1) or the configuration (in study 2) that best fitted with their idea of symmetry. In conclusion, identicalness is an important component in people’s naïve idea of symmetry, but it does not suffice: opposition complements it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry-Related Activity in Mid-Level Vision)
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