September 2018
Volume 18, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2018
Failure is Not an Option: Testing the Effects of Automation Failure on the Perceptual System
Author Affiliations
  • Nicholas Fitzgerald
    Department of Psychology, College of Natural Sciences, Colorado State University
  • Nathan Tenhundfeld
    Department of Psychology, College of Natural Sciences, Colorado State University
  • Jessica Witt
    Department of Psychology, College of Natural Sciences, Colorado State University
Journal of Vision September 2018, Vol.18, 1271. doi:10.1167/18.10.1271
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      Nicholas Fitzgerald, Nathan Tenhundfeld, Jessica Witt; Failure is Not an Option: Testing the Effects of Automation Failure on the Perceptual System. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1271. doi: 10.1167/18.10.1271.

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

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Abstract

Tools that enhance performance also influence spatial perception, such as a stick making an object appear closer if the individual wielding said stick has the intention to reach with it. Does this same principle apply to automated processes that also improve performance? Participants attempted to block a ball using a small paddle, and then estimated the speed of the ball. We improved ball-blocking performance using two separate manipulations. The first manipulation was a larger paddle that the participant controlled; the second manipulation was automating the small paddle. Across the five experiments we found that the ball appeared slower to participants when using the larger paddle compared to the small paddle. This replicated the Pong effect and shows that tools influence spatial perception. Interestingly, when the small paddle was automated, perceived speed was not influenced by the paddle's ball blocking performance. The ball appeared the same speed regardless of whether the automated paddle was programmed to successfully block the ball 50% or 95% of the time. This suggests that automated processes are not embodied in the same way as tools. When the tool improved performance (i.e. the big paddle) perceived ball speed was affected. When automation improved performance, perceived ball speed was unaffected. The automated paddle also did not influence speed perception when it was engaged for the whole trial and when it failed 30% of the time, in which case the participant had to take control of the paddle. Automated processes are not like sticks, with respect to embodied perception. Only when the participant is acting does performance influence perception. This is evidence that perception is action-specific.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018

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