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  Ambiguity and biological motion

Thornton, I. (2003). Ambiguity and biological motion. Perception, 32(3), 389.

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Thornton, IM1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: Ambiguity, and the ''errors'' it creates, have long been used as probes into visual processing. Here I describe a new form of dynamic ambiguous stimuli - the chimeric point-light walker - which is created by superimposing the profile views of a left and right facing figure. When viewed in isolation, this figure - which is ambiguous as it simultaneously suggests motion in both directions - does not appear to walk, but rather to be performing some complex novel action. However, when the figure is presented in a mask of additional moving dots, observers consistently fail to notice anything odd about the walker, reporting instead that they are watching an unambiguous figure moving either to the left or right. Some observers report that the initial percept fluctuates, moving first to the left, then to the right, or vice versa others always perceive a constant direction. All observers, when briefly shown the unmasked ambiguous figure, have no difficulty in perceiving the novel motion pattern once the mask is returned. These two findings, the initial report of unambiguous motion and the subsequent ''primed'' perception of the ambiguity are both consistent with an important role for top-down processing in biological motion. I will discuss several domains within the realm of biological motion processing where this simple stimuli may have an application.

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 Dates: 2003-03
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1068/ava02
 Degree: -

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Title: Seventh Applied Vision Association Christmas Meeting 2002: Human Vision - When It Works and When It Fails (AVA 2002)
Place of Event: Birmingham, UK
Start-/End Date: 2002-12-18

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Title: Perception
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Pion Ltd.
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 32 (3) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 389 Identifier: ISSN: 0301-0066
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925509369