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How many pleasures can you track?

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Pelli, D., & Brielmann, A. (2020). How many pleasures can you track?. Poster presented at Twentieth Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS 2020), St. Pete Beach, FL, USA.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-6B30-B
Choosing often demands that we assess the pleasures of multiple objects at once. Last year at VSS, we showed that people can keep track of at least two pleasures independently. Here, we push this limit and ask whether they can track four. Participants (N = 18) viewed 36 OASIS images that uniformly span the entire range of pleasure (from very unpleasant to very pleasant). On each trial, the observer saw four images in four quadrants of the screen simultaneously for 200 ms. A cue (randomly pointing to one of the four quadrants) indicated which image (the target) the observer should report the pleasure of, while ignoring the others (distractors). In half the blocks, the cue came before the images, and in the other half it came after. At the end of the experiment, we obtain baseline pleasure ratings for images shown one at a time. We model the pre- and post-cued pleasure report as a weighted average of baseline target and distractor pleasures. We used the average root-mean-square error from leave-one-out cross-validation to assess model fit. A model with a target weight of 1.0 fit our data best (mean RMSE = 1.24) compared to a linear model with free weights (RMSE=2.21), as well as a model taking into account the relative pleasure ranking of the images (RMSE=1.61). This was true for both pre- and post-cued trials. Thus, people are able to track at least four pleasures at a time.