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Noga Pinchuk-Yacobi, Ron Dekel, Dov Sagi; Expectations and visual aftereffects. Journal of Vision 2016;16(15):19. doi: 10.1167/16.15.19.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
The tilt aftereffect (TAE) is traditionally regarded as a consequence of orientation-selective sensory adaptation, a low-level stimulus-driven process. Adaptation has been recently suggested to be the outcome of predictive coding. Here, we tested whether the TAE is modulated by predictability, and specifically, whether TAE depends on the congruency of adapted and expected orientations. Observers were presented with successive pairs of oriented Gabor patches. Pairs were arranged in blocks, forming two conditions with the orientation of the second pair member either predictable or not. For all pairs, the orientation of the first Gabor was tilted clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW) (±20° relative to vertical, randomized). In the “Expected” conditions, the orientation of the second Gabor was fixed relative to the first Gabor (the same or a mirror orientation, blocked). In the “no-expectation” condition, the orientation of the second Gabor was independent of the first Gabor (randomized ±20°). Intermixed test pairs were used to measure observers' perceived vertical, with the second pair member serving as a target, oriented around the vertical, permitting an estimate of the TAE produced by the presentation of the first Gabor. Results show an increase in TAE with the expected orientation matching the inducing orientation, but a decrease with the expected mirror orientation, consistent with additivity of the adaptation and the expectation effects. A second experiment, with the first oriented Gabor replaced by a colored circular blob, showed that expectation alone does not modulate the perceived orientation. These findings indicate a role for expectation in generating the perceptual TAE and are in line with predictive coding models of perception. We suggest that orientation dependent adaptation is affected by both the mean orientation (first order statistics) and by temporal contingencies (second order statistics).
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