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Emmanouil D. Protonotarios, Alan Johnston, Lewis D. Griffin; Difference magnitude is not measured by discrimination steps for order of point patterns. Journal of Vision 2016;16(9):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.9.2.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We have shown in previous work that the perception of order in point patterns is consistent with an interval scale structure (Protonotarios, Baum, Johnston, Hunter, & Griffin, 2014). The psychophysical scaling method used relies on the confusion between stimuli with similar levels of order, and the resulting discrimination scale is expressed in just-noticeable differences (jnds). As with other perceptual dimensions, an interesting question is whether suprathreshold (perceptual) differences are consistent with distances between stimuli on the discrimination scale. To test that, we collected discrimination data, and data based on comparison of perceptual differences. The stimuli were jittered square lattices of dots, covering the range from total disorder (Poisson) to perfect order (square lattice), roughly equally spaced on the discrimination scale. Observers picked the most ordered pattern from a pair, and the pair of patterns with the greatest difference in order from two pairs. Although the judgments of perceptual difference were found to be consistent with an interval scale, like the discrimination judgments, no common interval scale that could predict both sets of data was possible. In particular, the midpattern of the perceptual scale is 11 jnds away from the ordered end, and 5 jnds from the disordered end of the discrimination scale.
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