May 2008
Volume 8, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
When noisy means cardinal: visual biases for cardinal orientations revealed by degrading stimulus identity
Author Affiliations
  • Alessandro Tomassini
    Department of Optometry & Visual Science, City University of London
  • Joshua A. Solomon
    Department of Optometry & Visual Science, City University of London
  • Michael J. Morgan
    Department of Optometry & Visual Science, City University of London
Journal of Vision May 2008, Vol.8, 270. doi:10.1167/8.6.270
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Alessandro Tomassini, Joshua A. Solomon, Michael J. Morgan; When noisy means cardinal: visual biases for cardinal orientations revealed by degrading stimulus identity. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):270. doi: 10.1167/8.6.270.

      Download citation file:


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

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

According to Bayesian theory, the influence of “a priori” biases on perception should be greatest when certainty about stimulus likelihood is least. These biases are thought to have evolved because certain types of stimulus are encountered more frequently than others. For example, our environment is particularly rich in perfectly horizontal and vertical things. Degrading information about stimulus orientation may shift perception toward a priori biases. We tested this hypothesis by asking observers to align a pointer with the average orientation of a briefly displayed array of Gabor patches. Unbeknownst to the observers, each patch's orientation was drawn from a Gaussian distribution with near-horizontal (i.e. 0°±2° or 0°±14°) or near-vertical mean (i.e. 90°±2° or 90°±14°), and one of two possible standard deviations = 2° or = 14°. On average, responses elicited by the larger standard deviation were closer to the cardinal orientations. In particular, our results indicate a predisposition for seeing things as being perfectly horizontal or vertical. More generally, our results demonstrate that visual biases can be revealed by statistically degrading stimulus identity.

Tomassini, A. Solomon, J. A. Morgan, M. J. (2008). When noisy means cardinal: visual biases for cardinal orientations revealed by degrading stimulus identity [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6):270, 270a, http://journalofvision.org/8/6/270/, doi:10.1167/8.6.270. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 EPSRC grant #EP/E064604
×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×