The Greebles refers to a category of novel objects used as stimuli in psychological studies of object and face recognition, created by Scott Yu at Yale University. They were named by the psychologist Robert Abelson. The greebles were created for Isabel Gauthier’s dissertation work at Yale, so as to share constraints with faces: they have a small number of parts in a common configuration.

This makes it difficult to distinguish any individual object on the basis of the presence of a feature, and this is thought to encourage the use of all features and the relationships between them. In other words, greebles, just like faces, can be processed configurally. Yu’s originals (both the symmetrical and asymmetrical sets) can be obtained from Michael Tarr.[1] Greebles appear in over 25 scientific articles.

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