August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Does action recognition suffer in a crowded environment?
Author Affiliations
  • Laura Fademrecht
    Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
  • Judith Nieuwenhuis
    Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
  • Isabelle Bülthoff
    Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
  • Nick Barraclough
    Department of Psychology, University of York
  • Stephan de la Rosa
    Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 280. doi:10.1167/16.12.280
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      Laura Fademrecht, Judith Nieuwenhuis, Isabelle Bülthoff, Nick Barraclough, Stephan de la Rosa; Does action recognition suffer in a crowded environment? . Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):280. doi: 10.1167/16.12.280.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

In real life humans need to recognize actions even if the actor is surrounded by a crowd of people but little is known about action recognition in cluttered environments. In the current study, we investigated whether a crowd influences action recognition with an adaptation paradigm. Using life-sized moving stimuli presented on a panoramic display, 16 participants adapted to either a hug or a clap action and subsequently viewed an ambiguous test stimulus (a morph between both adaptors). The task was to categorize the test stimulus as either 'clap' or 'hug'. The change in perception of the ambiguous action due to adaptation is referred to as an 'adaptation aftereffect'. We tested the influence of a cluttered background (a crowd of people) on the adaptation aftereffect under three experimental conditions: 'no crowd', 'static crowd' and 'moving crowd'. Additionally, we tested the adaptation effect at 0° and 40° eccentricity. Participants showed a significant adaptation aftereffect at both eccentricities (p < .001). The results reveal that the presence of a crowd (static or moving) has no influence on the action adaptation effect (p = .07), neither in central vision nor in peripheral vision. Our results suggest that action recognition mechanisms and action adaptation aftereffects are robust even in complex and distracting environments.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016

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