August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
The picture morphing task – an efficient and quick means to measure updating
Author Affiliations
  • Elisabeth Stottinger
    University of Waterloo
  • Eva Rafetseder
    University of Stirling
  • Britt Anderson
    University of Waterloo
  • James Danckert
    University of Waterloo
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 172. doi:
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      Elisabeth Stottinger, Eva Rafetseder, Britt Anderson, James Danckert; The picture morphing task – an efficient and quick means to measure updating . Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):172.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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We report the results of three studies using a picture morphing task. We argue that this task is an effective, easy to administer, and widely applicable assessment tool for probing the ability to update perceptual representations. By presenting a series of fifteen images that morph from one unambiguous object (e.g., rabbit) to a completely different object (e.g., duck), we can assess the time and evidence necessary for perceptual re-categorization in children, brain-damaged adults, and normal adult controls. Study one presented 3 and 5 year old children with a version of the picture morphing task and a Theory of Mind assessment (i.e., False Belief Task). The picture morphing task could be performed by both age groups. Within the 5-year old group, children who passed a False Belief Task and were able to correctly explain why, showed faster perceptual updating. Study two demonstrated that damage to the right hemisphere – especially the right anterior insula – resulted in an updating impairment; these patients requiring significantly more pictures before they reported the new object compared to left brain damaged patients. In study three, an fMRI experiment with healthy individuals, the anterior insula and mid-frontal regions were activated at the time when a change was reported, and immediately before. In summary, the picture morphing task offers an an efficient tool for measuring updating mental representations in vastly different experimental settings and participant populations.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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