RT Journal Article
A1 Jordan, Matthew
A1 Hart, Yuval
A1 Dillon, Moira
T1 Pathing judgment on planes and spheres: Accurate intuitions about shortest paths
JF Journal of Vision
JO JOV
YR 2018
DO 10.1167/18.10.505
JF Journal of Vision
VO 18
IS 10
SP 505
OP 505
SN 1534-7362
AB Humans alone are capable of formal geometry, like the one outlined in Euclid's Elements. We can conceive of points of no size and lines of infinite length. How do we conceive of such points and lines without ever perceiving them? We examined adults' (N=48) capacity to judge the shortest path between two points (i.e., linearity) on pictures of planes and spheres (Fig. 1). Our primary analysis focused on whether participants' success depended on three factors: surface (plane vs. sphere); planar linearity (i.e., a line vs. curve); and spherical linearity (i.e., a geodesic vs. arc). While participants were more successful at judging the shortest paths on planes vs. spheres (P < .001; Fig. 2), they were nevertheless above chance (.50) when judging geodesics that were also either lines (P < .001) or curves (P < .001). Indeed, participants modulated their responses based on the surface (Surface X Planar Linearity, P < .001; Surface X Spherical Linearity, P < .001). Nevertheless, participants were more accurate at judging geodesics that were also lines vs. geodesics that were also curves (P < .001, holm-corrected). Finally, spherical judgments were more accurate with smaller spheres, longer paths, and paths closer to the poles (all Ps < .001). Participants' success with geodesics is surprising because prior work has shown a planar bias in adults' commonsense geometric reasoning (e.g., Izard et al., 2011) and because formal spherical geometry is rarely taught in school. Future work may examine how human and animal navigation may underlie such accurate path judgments (e.g., Jeffery et al., 2013; Urdapilleta et al., 2015), and how such judgments may depend on development of visual form processing (e.g., Ons & Wagemans, 2011). Ultimately, this work aims to bridge our perception of spatial entities to our conception of geometric formalisms. Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
RD 10/19/2019
UL https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.505