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Samy Rima, Mylène Poujade, Marcello Maniglia, Jean-Baptiste Durand; Rewarding objects appear larger but not brighter. Journal of Vision 2018;18(7):9. doi: 10.1167/18.7.9.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Whether reward can accentuate the perception of visual objects, that is, makes them appear larger than they really are, is a long-standing and controversial question. Here, we revisit this issue with a novel two-alternative forced-choice paradigm combining asymmetric reward schedule and task reversal. In a first experiment, participants (n = 27) choose the larger of two unequally rewarded objects in some sessions and the smaller one in other sessions. Response biases toward the most rewarding object differ significantly between the reversed tasks, revealing an influence of reward on perceived sizes. In a second experiment, participants (n = 27) indicate either the brighter or darker object. In contrast with the first experiment, response biases are similar between those reversed tasks, indicating that the perceived luminance is immune to reward manipulation. Together, these results reveal that if two objects are associated with different amounts of reward, participants will perceive the more rewarded object to be slightly larger, but not brighter, than the less rewarded one.
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