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.

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

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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