Visual adaptation alters the apparent speed of real-world actions

Mather, George (2017) Visual adaptation alters the apparent speed of real-world actions. Scientific Reports, 7 . p. 6738. ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

The apparent physical speed of an object in the field of view remains constant despite variations in
retinal velocity due to viewing conditions (velocity constancy). For example, people and cars appear
to move across the field of view at the same objective speed regardless of distance. In this study a
series of experiments investigated the visual processes underpinning judgements of objective speed
using an adaptation paradigm and video recordings of natural human locomotion. Viewing a video
played in slow-motion for 30seconds caused participants to perceive subsequently viewed clips played
at standard speed as too fast, so playback had to be slowed down in order for it to appear natural;
conversely after viewing fast-forward videos for 30seconds, playback had to be speeded up in order to
appear natural. The perceived speed of locomotion shifted towards the speed depicted in the adapting
video (‘re-normalisation’). Results were qualitatively different from those obtained in previously
reported studies of retinal velocity adaptation. Adapting videos that were scrambled to remove
recognizable human figures or coherent motion caused significant, though smaller shifts in apparent
locomotion speed, indicating that both low-level and high-level visual properties of the adapting
stimulus contributed to the changes in apparent speed.

Keywords:Perception
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:27691
Deposited On:27 Jul 2017 17:15

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