Categorical Versus Coordinate Spatial Relations: Computational Analyses and Computer Simulations

Stephen M. Kosslyn, Christopher F. Chabris, Chad J. Marsolek, Olivier Koenig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


Results of 4 sets of neural network simulations support the distinction between categorical and coordinate spatial relations representations: (a) Networks that were split so that different hidden units contributed to each type of judgment performed better than unsplit networks; the reverse was observed when they made 2 coordinate judgments. (b) Both computations were more difficult when finer discriminations were required; this result mirrored findings with human Ss. (c) Networks with large, overlapping "receptive fields" performed the coordinate task better than did networks with small, less overlapping receptive fields, but vice versa for the categorical task; this suggests a possible basis for observed cerebral lateralization of the 2 kinds of processing. (d) The previously observed effect of stimulus contrast on this hemispheric asymmetry could reflect contributions of more neuronal input in high-contrast conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-577
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 1992


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