August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Serial dependence in perception of biological motion
Author Affiliations
  • Wesley Chaney
    Vision Science Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley
  • Alina Liberman
    Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley
  • David Whitney
    Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 274. doi:
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      Wesley Chaney, Alina Liberman, David Whitney; Serial dependence in perception of biological motion. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):274.

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

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We experience the visual world as a continuous and stable environment of objects and events, despite rapidly changing retinal input due to eye movements and visual noise. One proposed mechanism for maintaining this apparent stability is serial dependence of visual perception: our current visual experience is biased toward what we have perceived in the recent past, facilitating information processing in an autocorrelated world. Recent studies have shown that perception of orientation and facial identity are biased toward previously seen stimuli (Fischer and Whitney, 2014; Liberman et al., 2004). We investigated whether this same perceptual bias occurred in the judgment of biological motion, specifically heading direction of point light walkers. Accurate perception of heading direction of point light walkers requires integration of information over time into a dynamic structural representation based on prior assumptions about how the local 2D information is generated by a familiar 3D form of a walker. The purpose of the current experiment is to extend previous investigation of serial dependence in static 2D images to the realm of dynamic representations. Subjects viewed a single walker presented in the periphery and followed by a mask. Subjects were then asked to adjust a second walker to match the direction of heading of the target walker. Subjects consistently made errors biased toward the direction of the target walker presented on the previous trial when the heading directions were similar across the two contiguous trials. Our results show that serial dependence can occur even for perception of stimuli that require integration of complex information over time and prior assumptions about the structure of complex objects in the world.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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