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Christine Ziemer, Jodie Plumert, James Cremer, Joseph Kearney; Perceptual adaptation to environmental scale. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):268. doi: 10.1167/7.9.268.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We examined whether people perceive the same distances differently after exposure to environments that differ in scale. During adaptation, participants made 20 distance estimates in either a large, medium, or small “cave” in an immersive virtual environment. On each trial, participants saw a target 6–18 m away that disappeared after 4 s. Participants then attempted to move to the location using a joystick with either their eyes closed or open, after which they received visual feedback about their estimate. During test, all participants made estimates about the same five distances in the medium cave with their eyes closed and without feedback. Distance estimates made during adaptation did not differ across the three caves. At test, however, participants who had initially experienced the large environment judged the same distances as longer than did participants who had initially experienced the small environment. Explanations for this perceptual adaptation effect are discussed.
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