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Dylan Nieman, Bhavin R. Sheth, Shinsuke Shimojo; Perceiving a discontinuity in motion. Journal of Vision 2010;10(6):9. doi: 10.1167/10.6.9.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Studies have shown that the position of a target stimulus is misperceived owing to ongoing motion. Although static forces (fixation, landmarks) affect perceived position, motion remains the overwhelming force driving estimates of position. Motion endpoint estimates biased in the direction of motion are perceptual signatures of motion's dominant role in localization. We sought conditions in which static forces exert the predominant influence over perceived position: stimulus displays for which target position is perceived backward relative to motion. We used a target that moved diagonally with constant speed, abruptly turned 90° and continued at constant speed; observers localized the discontinuity. This yielded a previously undescribed effect, “turn-point shift,” the tendency of observers to estimate the position of orthogonal direction change backward relative to subsequent motion direction. Display and mislocalization direction differ from past studies. Static forces (foveal attraction, repulsion by subsequently occupied spatial positions) were found to be responsible. Delayed turn-point estimates, reconstructed from probing the entire trajectory, shifted the horizontal coordinate forward in the direction of motion. This implies more than one percept of turn-point position. As various estimates of turn-point position arise at different times, under different task demands, the perceptual system does not necessarily resolve conflicts between them.
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