Opendata, web and dolomites


Shape Understanding: On the Perception of Growth, Form and Process

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 SHAPE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the SHAPE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "SHAPE" about.

performance    brain    cognitive    combined    observers    effortlessly    stimuli    obvious    flexible    sophisticated    fluid    techniques    interdisciplinary    derive    graphics    unite    models    imagine    machine    everyday    inference    organization    morphogenesis    seek    predict    geometry    interpret    geometrically    recognize    origin    generative    surface    perception    shape    uncover    crushed    iuml    perceptual    life    object    suggest    subjects    look    psychological    transformations    judge    visual    ideas    shapes    fragile    primitive    ductile    physical    apple    radically    computer    simulate    gave    sense    cues    flow    despite    parse    class    mechanisms    uses    bitten    ing    modify    behavior    experiments    objects    forms    physics    infer    functional    ve    behaviorally    nothing    inferences    3d    happened    biological    whenever    learning    stable    computational    members    na    underlying    forming    create    practically    view    tumble    model    analyzing    exemplars    describing    fracture   

Project "SHAPE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 35390

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙950˙725 €
 EC max contribution 1˙950˙725 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-08-01   to  2021-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Whenever we look at an object, we can effortlessly infer many of its physical and functional properties from its shape and our previous experience with other objects. We can judge whether it is flexible or fragile; stable or likely to tumble; what might have happened to it in the past (e.g. a crushed can or bitten apple); and can even imagine how other members of the same object class might look. These high-level inferences are evidence of sophisticated visual and cognitive processes that derive behaviorally significant information about objects from their 3D shape—a process we call 'Shape Understanding'. Despite its obvious importance to everyday life, practically nothing is known about how the brain uses shape to infer the properties, origin or behavior of objects. The goal of this project is to develop a radically new interdisciplinary field to uncover how the brain 'makes sense of shape'. We suggest that when we view novel objects, the brain uses perceptual organization mechanisms to infer a primitive 'generative model' describing the processes that gave the shape its key characteristics. We seek to identify the psychological and computational processes that enable the brain to parse and interpret shape this way. To achieve this, we unite ideas and methods from surface perception, morphogenesis, geometry, computer graphics, naïve physics and concept learning. We will simulate physical processes that create and modify 3D forms (e.g. biological growth, fluid flow, ductile fracture). We will use the resulting shapes as stimuli in experiments in which observers must identify key shape features, recognize transformations that have been applied to shapes, or predict the likely shape of other exemplars from the same object class. We will then model subjects' performance by geometrically analyzing shapes to find cues to the underlying shape-forming processes. These cues will be combined to infer generative models using inference techniques from machine learning.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Guido Maiello, Vivian C. Paulun, Lina K. Klein, Roland W. Fleming
The Sequential-Weight Illusion
published pages: 204166951879027, ISSN: 2041-6695, DOI: 10.1177/2041669518790275
i-Perception 9/4 2019-08-05
2017 van Assen , Jan Jaap; Barla , Pascal; Fleming , Roland ,
Shape features underlying the perception of liquids
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
\"MODVIS 2017 - Computational and Mathematical Models in Vision, May 2017, St Pete Beach, FL, United States. MODVIS2017, 〈〉\" 1 2019-08-05
2019 Vivian C. Paulun, Gavin Buckingham, Melvyn A. Goodale, Roland W. Fleming
The material-weight illusion disappears or inverts in objects made of two materials
published pages: 996-1010, ISSN: 0022-3077, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00199.2018
Journal of Neurophysiology 121/3 2019-08-05
2018 Filipp Schmidt, Roland W. Fleming
Identifying shape transformations from photographs of real objects
published pages: e0202115, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202115
PLOS ONE 13/8 2019-08-05
2019 Filipp Schmidt, Flip Phillips, Roland W. Fleming
Visual perception of shape-transforming processes: ‘Shape Scission’
published pages: 167-180, ISSN: 0010-0277, DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.04.006
Cognition 189 2019-08-05
2019 Guido Maiello, Vivian C. Paulun, Lina K. Klein, Roland W. Fleming
Object Visibility, Not Energy Expenditure, Accounts For Spatial Biases in Human Grasp Selection
published pages: 204166951982760, ISSN: 2041-6695, DOI: 10.1177/2041669519827608
i-Perception 10/1 2019-08-05
2019 Roland W. Fleming, Filipp Schmidt
Getting “fumpered”: Classifying objects by what has been done to them
published pages: 15, ISSN: 1534-7362, DOI: 10.1167/19.4.15
Journal of Vision 19/4 2019-08-05

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The information about "SHAPE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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