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Ling-Hao Xu, Qi Sun, Baoyuan Zhang, Xinyu Li; Attractive serial dependence in heading perception from optic flow occurs at the perceptual and postperceptual stages. Journal of Vision 2022;22(12):11. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.12.11.
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Previous work has revealed that the heading perception from optic flow can be either attracted to the straight-ahead direction showing a center bias or repelled away from the previously seen heading (i.e., repulsive serial dependence) after ruling out the center bias accounting for perceptual errors. Recent studies have debated whether the serial dependence occurs at the perceptual or postperceptual stages (e.g., working memory). Our current study reexamined the serial dependence in heading perception and investigated whether the serial dependence occurred at perceptual or postperceptual stages. Additionally, an ideal observer model was developed to explore whether observers optimally combined the straight-ahead direction and previous and current headings to perceive headings. Our results showed that after ruling out the center bias, the perceived heading was biased toward the previous heading, suggesting an attractive serial dependence in heading perception. This attractive serial dependence occurred at both perceptual and postperceptual stages. Importantly, the perceived heading was well predicted by an ideal observer model, suggesting that observers could optimally combine their perceptual observations (current heading) with their prior information about the straight-ahead direction and previous headings to estimate their heading.
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