Decision-level adaptation in motion perception

George Mather, Rebecca Sharman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Prolonged exposure to visual stimuli causes a bias in observers' responses to subsequent stimuli. Such adaptation-induced biases are usually explained in terms of changes in the relative activity of sensory neurons in the visual system which respond selectively to the properties of visual stimuli. However, the bias could also be due to a shift in the observer's criterion for selecting one response rather than the alternative; adaptation at the decision level of processing rather than the sensory level. We investigated whether adaptation to implied motion is best attributed to sensory-level or decision-level bias. Three experiments sought to isolate decision factors by changing the nature of the participants' task while keeping the sensory stimulus unchanged. Results showed that adaptation-induced bias in reported stimulus direction only occurred when the participants' task involved a directional judgement, and disappeared when adaptation was measured using a non-directional task (reporting where motion was present in the display, regardless of its direction). We conclude that adaptation to implied motion is due to decision-level bias, and that a propensity towards such biases may be widespread in sensory decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Article number150418
Number of pages8
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume2
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

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