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David Pascucci, Giovanni Mancuso, Elisa Santandrea, Chiara Della Libera, Gijs Plomp, Leonardo Chelazzi; Laws of concatenated perception: Vision goes for novelty, Decisions for perseverance. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1049. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.1049.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Every instant of perception depends on a cascade of brain processes calibrated to the history of sensory and decisional events. In the present work, we show that human visual perception is constantly shaped by two contrasting forces, exerted by sensory adaptation and past decisions. Using the method of adjustment, in a series of experiments we measured the ability of human participants to reproduce the orientation of consecutive Gabor stimuli. Multi-level non-linear models and cross-validation techniques were adopted to investigate the impact of previous stimuli and responses on current adjustment errors. Our results revealed that each perceptual report is permeated by opposite biases from a hierarchy of serially dependent processes: low-level adaptation repels perception away from previous stimuli; high-level, decisional traces attract perceptual reports toward previous responses. Contrary to recent claims, we demonstrated that positive serial dependence does not result from continuity fields operating at the level of early visual processing, but arises from the inertia of decisional templates. This finding is consistent with a Two-process model of serial dependence in which the persistence of read-out weights in a decision unit compensates for sensory adaptation, leading to attractive biases in sequential responses. We propose the first unified account of serial dependence in which functionally distinct mechanisms, operating at different stages, promote the differentiation and integration of visual information over time.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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