Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2007 Mar 28;2(3):e333.

A Bayesian perceptual model replicates the cutaneous rabbit and other tactile spatiotemporal illusions.

Author information

  • Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. goldrd@mcmaster.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

When brief stimuli contact the skin in rapid succession at two or more locations, perception strikingly shrinks the intervening distance, and expands the elapsed time, between consecutive events. The origins of these perceptual space-time distortions are unknown.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Here I show that these illusory effects, which I term perceptual length contraction and time dilation, are emergent properties of a Bayesian observer model that incorporates prior expectation for speed. Rapidly moving stimuli violate expectation, provoking perceptual length contraction and time dilation. The Bayesian observer replicates the cutaneous rabbit illusion, the tau effect, the kappa effect, and other spatiotemporal illusions. Additionally, it shows realistic tactile temporal order judgment and spatial attention effects.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The remarkable explanatory power of this simple model supports the hypothesis, first proposed by Helmholtz, that the brain biases perception in favor of expectation. Specifically, the results suggest that the brain automatically incorporates prior expectation for speed in order to overcome spatial and temporal imprecision inherent in the sensorineural signal.

PMID:
17389923
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1828626
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (9)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk