The effect of response uncertainty on illusory biases of perception and action
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When task requirements were known in advance, Glazebrook et al. [C.M. Glazebrook, V.P. Dhillon, K.M. Keetch, J. Lyons, E. Amazeen, D.J. Weeks, D. Elliott, Perception-action and the Müller-Lyer illusion: amplitude or endpoint bias?, Exp. Brain Res. 160 (2005) 71-78.] demonstrated that perceptual biases associated with the Müller-Lyer illusion resulted from a misperception of figure extent, while manual aiming biases resulted from a misperception of vertex position. In this study, we examined the degree to which prior knowledge of task requirements influenced how participants coded visual-spatial information associated with Müller-Lyer configurations. Specifically, we investigated how illusory biases are affected when uncertainty exists as to whether participants will be required to make a perceptual-cognitive decision about the length of a figure or complete a rapid aiming movement to a figure vertex. Although aiming movements were completed in a similar manner regardless of the prior knowledge condition, perceptual biases were associated with a misperception of extent when the task was known and a misperception of both extent and position when the task was unknown. These findings indicate that people are flexible in the manner in which they code visual-spatial information.
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