shape constancy

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A form of perceptual constancy in which a familiar object tends to retain its perceived shape despite radical changes in the pattern of retinal stimulation resulting from differences in its orientation. Thus a dinner plate looks the same shape whether the proximal stimulus image that it casts on the retina is a circle, an ellipse, or (if it is viewed from the edge) roughly a straight line. Also called form constancy. See also perspective illusion, shape-slant invariance, template matching.

Subjects: Psychology.

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