Sustained representation of perspectival shape

Our experience of the world goes beyond the light reaching our eyes: Even when a coin is tilted in depth, we infer the circular shape it truly has, rather than the ellipse it projects. But do we ever escape the perspective from which we view the world?

A centuries-old philosophical debate asks whether objects of different distal shapes bear a representational similarity to one another when their perspectival shapes match. Here, we test this question empirically. We demonstrate such representational similarity by showing that perspectival shapes influence basic mechanisms of perception and attention, even after distal shape is known. Objects are stamped with the perceiver’s perspective: We do not see the world completely separate from our point of view.