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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Visual adaptation alters the apparent speed of real-world actions
Author(s): Mather, George
Sharman, Rebecca J
Parsons, Todd
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Keywords: Human behaviour
motion detection
Issue Date: 27-Jul-2017
Citation: Mather G, Sharman RJ & Parsons T (2017) Visual adaptation alters the apparent speed of real-world actions, Scientific Reports, 7 (1), Art. No.: 6738.
Abstract: The apparent physical speed of an object in the field of view remains constant despite variations in retinal velocity due to viewing conditions (velocity constancy). For example, people and cars appear to move across the field of view at the same objective speed regardless of distance. In this study a series of experiments investigated the visual processes underpinning judgements of objective speed using an adaptation paradigm and video recordings of natural human locomotion. Viewing a video played in slow-motion for 30 seconds caused participants to perceive subsequently viewed clips played at standard speed as too fast, so playback had to be slowed down in order for it to appear natural; conversely after viewing fast-forward videos for 30 seconds, playback had to be speeded up in order to appear natural. The perceived speed of locomotion shifted towards the speed depicted in the adapting video (‘re-normalisation’). Results were qualitatively different from those obtained in previously reported studies of retinal velocity adaptation. Adapting videos that were scrambled to remove recognizable human figures or coherent motion caused significant, though smaller shifts in apparent locomotion speed, indicating that both low-level and high-level visual properties of the adapting stimulus contributed to the changes in apparent speed.
DOI Link: 10.1038/s41598-017-06841-5
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

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