Space Constancy vs Shape Constancy

in Seeing and Perceiving
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Abstract

The perceived distance between objects has been found to decrease over time in memory, demonstrating a partial failure of space constancy. Such mislocalization has been attributed to a generalized compression effect in memory. We confirmed this drift with a pair of remembered dot positions but did not find a compression of perceived distance when the space between the dots was filled with a connecting line. When the dot pairs were viewed eccentrically the compression in memory was substantially less. These results are in line with a combination of factors previously demonstrated to cause distortion in spatial memory — foveal bias and memory averaging — rather than a general compression of remembered visual space. Our findings indicate that object shape does not appear to be vulnerable to failures of space constancy observed with remembered positions.

Space Constancy vs Shape Constancy

in Seeing and Perceiving

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