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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
It is believed that certain contour attributes, specifically orientation, curvature and linear extent, provide essential cues for object (shape) recognition. The present experiment examined this hypothesis by comparing stimulus conditions that differentially provided such cues. A spaced array of dots was used to mark the outside boundary of namable objects, and subsets were chosen that contained either contiguous strings of dots or randomly positioned dots. These subsets were briefly and successively displayed using an MTDC information persistence paradigm. Across the major range of temporal separation of the subsets, it was found that contiguity of boundary dots did not provide more effective shape recognition cues. This is at odds with the concept that encoding and recognition of shapes is predicated on the encoding of contour attributes such as orientation, curvature and linear extent.