14.0197 Article on "Objective Visual Complexity"

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Date: Tue Aug 29 2000 - 20:34:49 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 197.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 21:12:16 +0100
             From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de>
             Subject: Center for Research Language article on "Objective Visual

    Dear humanists,

    ((Hi, I thought --some members might be interested in the below
    article and can use the paper in their research in the field of
    Linguistics, Computer Science and Cognitive Science - complete details
    about CRL Newsletter can be read at
    Thank you.-Arun))

    Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2000 20:08:40 -0700 (PDT)
    From: CRL Newsletter <newslett@crl.ucsd.edu>

                              CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN LANGUAGE

                  N E W S L E T T E R A N N O U N C E M E N T

                                 July, 2000.
                                Volume 12, No. 2.

    Objective Visual Complexity as a Variable in Studies of Picture Naming
    Anna Szkely
    Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest

    Elizabeth Bates
    University of California, San Diego

    A b s t r a c t
    Visual complexity is an important variable for studies working with
    picture stimuli, including picture naming. Traditionally, subjective
    ratings by 20-30 subjects have been used for this purpose, an approach
    that may be influenced by perceptual and cognitive variables (e.g.,
    familiarity with the object) that are not directly related to visual
    complexity. The present study offers an objective and easy way of
    measuring visual complexity by taking the file size of picture stimuli
    material (black-and-white, simple line drawings) as the basis. Over 30
    different file types and degrees of compression were compared for 520
    object pictures, and analyzed to determine whether these measures differ
    in their influence on picture-naming behavior. Results suggest that PDF,
    TIFF and JPG formats may provide valid indices of objective visual
    complexity. The effect of these objective measures on picture naming were
    compared with published subjective visual complexity data from an English
    and a Spanish study on overlapping items. Comparative analysis with other
    picture-naming variables shows that these objective measures - unlike
    subjective ratings - have no effect on RT, are unrelated to word frequency
    or age of acquisition, and show a more modest word length effect on the
    dominant response. However, they do affect picture-naming accuracy
    (production of the target name), an effect not reported in previous
    studies using subjective ratings of visual complexity. Subjective and
    objective complexity measures are both useful, and they are correlated,
    but they also differ in potentially important ways.
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    Language, a research center at the University of California, San Diego
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