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Nathan Tenhundfeld, Jessica Witt; An uphill battle: Distances are reported as farther on a hill even when immediate feedback about estimation accuracy is provided. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):240. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.10.240.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Studies have reported distances are seen as farther on a hill than on the flat ground. These studies are part of a larger theoretical framework that suggests your ability to act changes how you see the world. However, this framework has been met with controversy. Critics suggest the reported 'distance-on-hill' effect may be nothing more than response bias. One effective method used to eliminate response biases is to provide feedback about the accuracy of the perceptual judgments. We used an Oculus Rift DK2, head mounted virtual reality system to present the stimuli. Participants were tasked with visually matching the perceived egocentric distance between a cone placed on a virtual hill, and a cone placed on the virtual flat ground. After each trial they were given feedback which told them if their estimate was too far, too close, or correct (which was defined as being within 30cm of the actual distance). Results indicated that despite the feedback there was still an overall significant main effect for the hill on perceived distance, F (1, 40) = 19.36, p < .001. This suggests that even though participants were given accurate feedback to correct their estimations, they were still unable to resist the distance-on-hill effect. The main effect for distance on the difference scores was also significant F(1, 40) 73.75, p < .001. As the distance to the target cone increased, so too did the effect of the hill (versus flat ground). This provides further substantiation for an energetic account of the distance-on-hill effect. Taken together, this replication of the distance-on-hill effect in virtual reality, and the effect's resistance to immediate feedback on estimation accuracy, provides evidence for a perceptual account and helps rule out a response bias account for the effect of action on perception.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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