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A squishiness visual aftereffect – Not causality adaptation

62.16, Wednesday, 21-May, 10:45 am - 12:30 pm, Talk Room 1
Session: Motion Perception: Biological, adaptation and higher order

Derek Arnold1, Kirstie Petrie1, Regan Gallagher1, Kielan Yarrow2; 1Perception Lab: School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, 2Department of Psychology, City University London

Imagine viewing a simulated collision – a disc moves until it just touches another disc, at which point the first disc stops still and the second launches into motion. After repeated viewings of this scenario (visual adaptation), if people are shown a display wherein the first disc moves until it is partially occluded by the second, they are less likely to report that the first disc had launched the second into motion [1]. This has been interpreted in terms of a visual adaptation of causality perception . We reasoned that another interpretation was plausible. Instead of a direct visual adaptation of causality, these data could be indicative of a perceptual aftereffect impacting anticipated elasticity, or squishiness. Repeated viewings of the adaptation contact-launch scenario might induce a perceptual expectation that the two discs are rigid (as the initially static disc starts moving as soon as contact is made), and so a partial occlusion would become a strong cue that the two discs have not collided. If, instead, people repeatedly watch the first disc becoming partially occluded by the second before launch, they might form the impression that the two discs are squishy, and become more likely to report ‘launches’ in similar circumstances. We found support for this premise. Moreover, we found that the same adaptation protocol could bias judgments of a non-causal relationship, namely categorisations of simulated bounces as being hard (like a pool ball bouncing on concrete) or soft (like a squash ball bouncing). 1. Rolfs, M., Dambacher, M. & Cavanagh, P. (2013). Visual adaptation of the perception of causality. Current Biology, 23, 250-254.

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