Daniel Kinka

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Cindy M. Bukach

Second Advisor

Dr. David H. Landy

Third Advisor

Dr. Jane M. Berry


Patients with category-specific visual agnosia (CSVA) often exhibit a disproportionate difficulty recognizing objects from biological categories due (in part) to the fact that exemplars from biological categories tend to be visually and conceptually more similar. Similarity is often conceived of as a pairwise property (i.e., in terms of distance in a psychological space matrix), but may be more accurately conceived of as a setwise property (i.e., in terms of shared features). The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of shared features on similarity in normal observers, while controlling for distance in structural space. Behavioral and electrophysiological results are presented that indicate that feature integration is necessary across a variety of tasks and that setwise properties (i.e., shared features) influence similarity. As such, it is suggested that future studies conceptualize similarity in terms of setwise (and not pairwise) object properties.

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