August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Three's Company: Energetics' Effect on Perception as Shown with Blind Walking, Visual Matching, and Verbal Estimates
Author Affiliations
  • Nathan Tenhundfeld
    Colorado State University
  • Jessica Witt
    Colorado State University
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 265. doi:10.1167/16.12.265
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      Nathan Tenhundfeld, Jessica Witt; Three's Company: Energetics' Effect on Perception as Shown with Blind Walking, Visual Matching, and Verbal Estimates. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):265. doi: 10.1167/16.12.265.

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

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Abstract

A growing body of research has suggested that distances on hills appear farther than distances on the flat, likely because of the greater amount of energy required to walk that same distance on a hill. However, there has been concern that these effects are due to experimental demand. Previous distance-on-hill studies have used verbal estimates, an inherently biased method of estimation. Therefore, we tested this effect with a visual matching and blind walking measure; these measures have been shown to more accurately and reliably characterize distance perception. In separate studies, the distance-on-hills effect was found when using blind walking and visual matching. To compare across measures, we ran a third study in which participants estimated distances to cones placed at 7, 8, and 9 meters on both a hill and flat ground for verbal and blind walking estimates. For the visual matching, participants moved a reference cone on the flat until the distance between themselves and the cone on the flat was the same as the distance between themselves and the cone on the hill (also placed at 7, 8 and 9 meters). The distance-on-hill effect emerged using all three measures. Convergence across measures, especially those touted for their accuracy, suggests a common, underlying process, which is theorized to be perception as opposed to response-specific biases. By collecting multiple responses for each measure, we were also able to assess the reliability of this action-specific effect across each measure. We found that the visual matching task produced the best reliability. Reliability in measures is critical for future research assessing individual differences, which can help in furthering our understanding about the mechanisms that drive these perceptual distortions, such as interoceptive attunement.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016

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