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Zixin Yong, Po-Jang Hsieh; Speed–size illusion correlates with retinal-level motion statistics. Journal of Vision 2017;17(9):1. doi: 10.1167/17.9.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It is a common perceptual experience that smaller objects appear to move faster than larger ones when their physical speeds are the same in either the laboratory or daily life. In this study, we show that the speed–size illusion is correlated with retinal image speed distribution bias. The illusion was quantified with a two-alternative, forced choice speed comparison paradigm, and retinal image speed distributions for different image sizes were obtained by simulation. Simulation results show that smaller retinal images tend to have slower projected speed, and the retinal image speed distribution bias correlates with the strength of the speed–size illusion. Furthermore, exposure to a training movie containing unnatural motion statistics tended to modulate the illusion in a way that was consistent with the speed distribution bias. We discuss how the data could be explained by empirical ranking theory, Bayesian theory, and motion adaptation.
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