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Catherine Dowell, J. Farley Norman, Alexia Higginbotham, Nicholas Fedorka, Hideko Norman; The effects of environmental context upon distance bisection. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):509. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.509.
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In the current study, 28 younger and older participants visually bisected distances in depth both outdoors and indoors (half of the participants were male, half were female). Distance extents of 15m and 30m were judged in four different environmental settings (an indoor hallway & atrium, as well as two grassy fields). The participants were required to place a marker at the perceived midpoint of each distance interval. In general, the participants' judgments were more accurate indoors and less accurate outdoors. In outdoor contexts, the judgments of many participants were consistent with the perceptual compression of farther distances: these participants placed the marker closer than the actual physical midpoints of the stimulus distance intervals. Age and sex significantly affected the precision and accuracy of the judgments. The male participants' judgments were more accurate than those of the female participants. In addition, their bisection judgments were less influenced by environmental setting. The accuracies of the older participants' judgments were more influenced by context than those of the younger participants. There was also a significant effect of age upon the precision of the bisection judgments -- the older female participants exhibited greater variability across repeated judgments than the older males, younger males, and younger females. These results demonstrate that sex, age, and environmental context all significantly affect visually perceived distance.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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