September 2019
Volume 19, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2019
Drawing ability predicts flexibility in the use of context to accurately perceive shape
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kelly E. Robles
    Psychology Department, Art and Sciences, University of Oregon
  • Rebecca Florentine
    Psychology Department, Art and Sciences, University of Oregon
  • Audrey Sherman
    Psychology Department, Art and Sciences, University of Oregon
  • Alexander J. Bies
    Psychology Department, Art and Sciences, University of Oregon
  • Margaret E. Sereno
    Psychology Department, Art and Sciences, University of Oregon
Journal of Vision September 2019, Vol.19, 197b. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.197b
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      Kelly E. Robles, Rebecca Florentine, Audrey Sherman, Alexander J. Bies, Margaret E. Sereno; Drawing ability predicts flexibility in the use of context to accurately perceive shape. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):197b. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.197b.

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

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Abstract

The artistic ability to create accurate drawings serves as a modulator of visual processing, biasing artists towards a projective representation of stimuli through the suppression of context to actuate a 2D representation of a 3D target. Visual context plays a role in the ability to process object shape (shape constancy) but can also hinder performance on tasks that require projective judgments of object shape such as when creating a realistic drawing of the world. Participants in this study completed a series of shape judgment tasks, a drawing task to measure the accuracy of artistic ability through replications of photographs, and the Autism Quotient (AQ) and Systemizing Quotient (SQ) questionnaires, in order to determine the relationship between the accuracy of various visual shape judgments and drawing accuracy. The shape tasks measured participants’ ability to make objective or projective shape judgments with or without the presence of context. As predicted, those with greater drawing ability were able to overcome the influence of visual context to make more accurate projective shape judgments. Surprisingly, participants were also able to use context to make more accurate objective shape judgments as well. Neither the AQ or SQ, used as measures of local processing bias, predicted shape perception ability. These results support a model of perceptual flexibility as opposed to perceptual bias as the basis for changes in accuracy of shape perception. Greater artistic ability facilitates a more flexible approach to visual perception as a whole that allows for more accurate shape perception.

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