Pictures and names: Making the connection

Pierre Jolicoeur, Mark A. Gluck, Stephen M. Kosslyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

362 Scopus citations


In order to identify an object sensory input must somehow access stored information. A series of results supports two general assertions about this process: First, objects are identified first at a particular level of abstraction which is neither the most general nor the most specific possible. Time to provide names more general than "entry point" names is predicted by the degree of association between the "entry point" concept and the required name, not by perceptual factors. In contrast, providing more specific names than that corresponding to the "entry point" concept does require more detailed perceptual analysis. Second, the particular entry point for a given object covaries with its typicality, which affects whether or not the object will be identified at the "basic" level. Atypical objects have their entry point at a level subordinate to the basic level. The generality and usefulness of the notion of "basic level" is discussed in the face of these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-275
Number of pages33
JournalCognitive Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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