October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
From causal perception to event segmentation: Using spatial memory to reveal how many visual events are involved in causal launching
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yifei Hu
    East China Normal University
  • Joan Danielle K. Ongchoco
    Yale University
  • Brian Scholl
    Yale University
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  BJS was supported by ONR MURI #N00014-16-1-2007.
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 469. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.469
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Yifei Hu, Joan Danielle K. Ongchoco, Brian Scholl; From causal perception to event segmentation: Using spatial memory to reveal how many visual events are involved in causal launching. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):469. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.469.

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

The currency of visual experience is frequently not static scenes, but dynamic events. And perhaps the most central topic in the study of event perception is *event segmentation* -- how the visual system carves a continuous stream of input into discrete temporal units. A different tradition has tended to focus on particular types of events, the most famous example of which may be *causal launching*: a disc (A) moves until it reaches another stationary disc (B), at which point A stops and B starts moving in the same direction. Since these two well-studied topics (event segmentation and causal perception) have never been integrated, we asked a simple question: how many events are there in causal launching? Just one (the impact)? Or two (A’s motion and B’s motion)? We explored this using spatial memory, predicting that memory for intermediate moments within a single event representation should be worse than memory for moments at event boundaries. Observers watched asynchronous animations in which each of six discs started and stopped moving at different times, and (in different experiments) simply indicated each disc’s initial and final position. The discs came in pairs, and in some cases A launched B. To ensure that the results reflect perceived causality, other trials involved the same component motions but with spatiotemporal gaps between them (which eliminate perceived launching). The critical locations were the two intermediate ones (A’s final position and B’s initial position), and spatial memory was indeed worse for launching displays (perhaps because these locations occurred in the middle of a single ongoing event) compared to displays with spatiotemporal gaps (perhaps because these same locations now occurred at the perceived event boundary between A’s motion and B’s motion). This suggests that causal perception leads the two distinct motions to be represented as a single visual event.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.