Novel Objects

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Snodgrass and Vanderwart 'Like' Objects

A new set of colored and shaded images commissioned by Bruno Rossion (Brown University and University of Louvain, Belgium) and Gilles Pourtois (Tilburg University, The Netherlands). Normative data similar to the original Snodgrass and Vanderwart paper (1980) have been collected. Each of these images was loosely based on an image from the original Snodgrass and Vanderwart set. Please cite the following paper in any presentation or published research using these new images: Rossion, B., & Pourtois, G. (2004). Revisiting Snodgrass and Vanderwart's object set: The role of surface detail in basic-level object recognition. Perception, 33, 217-236.

Snodgrass and Vanderwart Objects

Apparently Joan Snodgrass sold the copyright to the original images in the 'Snodgrass and Vanderwart' image set to a for-profit company of some sort. Each time someone purchases the images from the company, she gets some share of the fee. This is all rather odd in that APA might hold the copyright per the standard agreement we sign on publication. No other identification of copyright appears in the original article. Moreover, charging for stimuli used in a published study seems pretty contrary to the spirit of academic exchange. In any case the company verbally told me to remove these images from my web site, so I did for something like a decade. But as you can see, they are back. At this point they should really only serve as a historical curiousity, useful for replication or the like. The fact of the matter is that the original images are very poor quality and using such line drawings can produce misleading results, so you are MUCH better off using the new set of colored and shaded images commissioned by Bruno Rossion ("Snodgrass and Vanderwart 'Like' Objects").

The Object Databank

The Object Databank is a set of realistic three-dimensional objects for use in computational and psychological studies. The archive includes 24-bit color images of 209 objects from 14 viewpoints in TIFF format. If you wish to manipulate the objects' appearance more directly the 3D models are included in their native formats (FormZ or AliasSketch).

Diagostic Color Objects

Color images of many diagnostic color objects, e.g., a banana (which is typically yellow). Objects are shown in typical and atypical colors. There are also control sets of neutral color objects. The orignal set were used as stimuli in Naor-Raz, G., Tarr, M. J., & Kersten, D. (2003). Is color an intrinsic property of object representation? Perception, 32, 667-680. There is also a bigger and better set that we have used in subsequent studies.

Change Blindness Scenes

This set of scenes were used as stimuli in the studies reported in Aginsky, V., & Tarr, M. J. (2000). How are different visual properties of a scene encoded in visual memory? The set contains many variants of individual scenes. Variants were generated by either moving or changing the color of some element of the scene.


Grayscale pictures of 31 chairs garnered from various sources by Bruno Rossion at the Universite Catholique de Louvain. Bruno has scaled all of the images to the same size, orientation, and brightness. Bruno asks that if you are going to use the chairs, please contact him at and let him know what you are up to (at this point this sort of image collection is pretty trivial to create/obtain, but I am leaving it up for historical reasons.

Links to Other Object Datasets

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