Studies of neurological patients with category-speciWc agnosia have provided important contributions to our understanding of object recognition, although the meaning of such disorders is still hotly debated. One crucial line of research for our understanding of category eVects, is through the examination of category biases in healthy normal subjects. This approach has, however, led to contradictory Wndings with advantages both for natural kinds and for man-made things being documented in healthy subjects. It has been proposed that task conditions may inXuence the direction of advantage (Gerlach, 2001) and in particular, that sub-optimal viewing conditions underpin natural kinds advantages, while man-made advantages emerge under more optimal viewing conditions. In two experiments with normal subjects, we examined the roles played by spatial resolution (blurring), stimulus type (colour and texture), and speed of presentation in picture naming across category. In both experiments, healthy subjects showed a natural kind advantage for original stimuli and for blurred colour stimuli (at slow and fast presentation speeds), while an advantage for man-made things emerged for line-drawings that were blurred and presented slowly. The implications for category-speciWc object recognition deWcits are discussed.