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Human observers are biased in judging the angular approach of a projectile

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Welchman,  AE
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Welchman, A., Tuck, V., & Harris, J. (2004). Human observers are biased in judging the angular approach of a projectile. Vision Research, 44(17), 2027-2042. doi:10.1016/j.visres.2004.03.014.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-D80D-8
Abstract
How do we decide whether an object approaching us will hit us? Information in the optic array should provide information sufficient for us to determine the approaching trajectory of a projectile. However, observers’ reports of angular trajectories near the mid-sagittal plane have suggested that, when using binocular information, observers perceive trajectory angles as larger than they actually are (Harris Dean, 2003; J. Exp. Psych, in press). We examine the generality of this previous report by examining the perception of trajectory direction; first for computer rendered, stereoscopically presented, rich-cue objects, and then trajectory perception for real objects moving in the world. We find that, even under rich cue conditions and with real moving objects, observers show positive bias, overestimating the angle of approach when movement is near the mid-sagittal plane. The findings question whether the visual system can make explicit estimates of the 3-D location and movement of objects in depth.