September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
How the past gives way to the present: Evidence for Bayesian updating with repeated presentation of ambiguous motion quartets
Author Affiliations
  • Maria F. Dal Martello
    General Psychology, University of Padova
  • Laurence T. Maloney
    Psychology and Neural Science, New York University
  • Cynthia Sahm
    Psychology, New York University
  • Lothar Spillmann
    Brain Research Unit, University of Freiburg
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 661. doi:10.1167/5.8.661
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      Maria F. Dal Martello, Laurence T. Maloney, Cynthia Sahm, Lothar Spillmann; How the past gives way to the present: Evidence for Bayesian updating with repeated presentation of ambiguous motion quartets. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):661. doi: 10.1167/5.8.661.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Introduction: In a motion quartet (MQ)with one repetition, two disks that fall at the endpoints of a diameter of an invisible circle are briefly presented and then replaced by two disks that fall on a second diameter. The observer sees rotation of the first pair into the second. By varying the angle between the diameters, one can estimate a psychometric function P[L|angle]. We reported last year that recent task history exerted a strong effect on perceived direction of motion, shifting the threshold parameter of the psychometric function. In particular, the observer is strongly biased to see motion in the same direction as the motion perceived on the most recent trial. This hysteretic effect (measured as the change in threshold) is little affected by increasing the time interval between trials (to as much as 30 seconds). Purpose: We sought to determine how repetitions of the same motion quartet would affect hysteresis. It is plausible, for example, that multiple presentations of the same sensory information would eventually ‘overpower’ the influence of recent task history, reducing hysteresis to 0. But precisely how? Methods: We measured the hysteresis induced by the previous trial for two subjects who judged 3840 MQ trials each. In different blocks, the MQ was presented 1, 2, 4 or 8 times in each trial. The observer reported the direction of motion of the last presentation only. Results: For both observers we found that hysteresis decreased rapidly with number of repetitions and that a log-log plot of hysteresis versus repetition was approximately linear with slope −1. Doubling the number of repetitions halves the hysteretic effect. This outcome is consistent with a Bayesian updating model where an initial prior probability that the stimulus will go left (based on recent task history) is successively combined with independent likelihood terms, one for each repetition of the stimulus.

Dal Martello, M. F. Maloney, L. T. Sahm, C. Spillmann, L. (2005). How the past gives way to the present: Evidence for Bayesian updating with repeated presentation of ambiguous motion quartets [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):661, 661a, http://journalofvision.org/5/8/661/, doi:10.1167/5.8.661. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 Grant EY08266 from the National Institutes of Health; Grant RG0109/1999-B from the Human Frontiers Science Program; Grant SP67/6-2 from the DFG; Guest professorship at the University of Freiburg (LTM)
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