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Abstract

Eating disorder tendencies are psychological characteristics that are prevalent in healthy young females and are known to be among the risk factors for eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. People with greater eating disorder tendencies strongly associate sweet and fatty foods with weight gain and strictly avoid consuming such foods. However, little is known about how eating disorder tendencies influence the association between taste and body shape impression. Research on crossmodal correspondences suggests that people preferentially associate sweet tastes with round shapes, and individual differences affect the degree of such associations. This study investigates how the degree of taste–shape matching is related to eating disorder tendencies with a preliminary investigation of what mediates this relationship. Two experiments were conducted: in Experiment 1, healthy participants rated the degree of association between basic taste words (sweet/sour/salty/bitter) and roundness of shape and subsequently completed questionnaires addressing eating disorder tendencies. In Experiment 2, participants answered additional questionnaires addressing obsessiveness, dichotomous thinking, and self-esteem. The results of Experiment 1 indicated a positive correlation between drive for thinness, which is one indicator of an eating disorder tendency, and the degree of matching sweetness to round shape. Experiment 2 replicated the results of Experiment 1 and revealed the mediating effect of obsessiveness. These findings suggest a relationship between individual differences in taste–shape matching and eating disorder tendency and the preliminary mediating role of obsessiveness. The present study provides new insight into the role of sweet–round matching in eating disorder tendencies and the associated psychological mechanisms.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

While stimulus complexity is known to affect the width of the temporal integration window (TIW), a quantitative evaluation of ecologically highly valid stimuli has not been conducted. We assumed that the degree of complexity is determined by the obviousness of the correspondence between the auditory onset and visual movement, and we evaluated the audiovisual complexity using video clips of a piano, a shakuhachi flute and human speech. In Experiment 1, a simultaneity judgment task was conducted using these three types of stimuli. The results showed that the width of TIW was wider for speech, compared with the shakuhachi and piano. Regression analysis revealed that the width of the TIW depended on the degree of complexity. In the second experiment, we investigated whether or not speech-specific factors affected the temporal integration. We used stimuli that either contained natural-speech sounds or white noise. The results revealed that the width of the TIW was wider for natural sentences, compared with white noise. Taken together, the width of the TIW might be affected by both the complexity and speech specificity.

In: Multisensory Research
Author: Hannah De Corte

In the mid-1960s and early 1970s, David Hockney opted for a particular application of primer in the ground layers of some of his paintings — that is, a partial or ‘selective’ type of preparation. By selectively preparing certain areas with one or more layers of (gesso) priming, Hockney introduced a slightly higher and white pictorial plane in selected areas while retaining the properties of raw canvas in others. In one of Hockney’s most discussed paintings, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), for instance, selective preparation divided the surface and set the stage from the ground up. This paper examines the impact of this highly original and hybrid formula on perception by the viewer, focusing on how the eye registers the change in properties of the paint layer. It outlines Hockney’s investigation of the primed/unprimed opposition through the use of selective preparation, and the variety of effects it allowed him to achieve in one canvas. From its anecdotal use in 1960s road trip paintings to its more pronounced use in pool paintings in which Hockney used unprimed canvas to convey the ‘wetness’ of water, selective preparation was a device for him to compellingly increase contrasts and tension. Far from producing mere formal effects or serving solely as citations (of stain paintings for instance), the perceived technical oddity produces meaning. From the ground layers up, it deeply influences the perception, and thus the interpretation of the discussed paintings.

In: Art & Perception

Abstract

This paper presents an account of the senses and what differentiates them that is compatible with richly multisensory perception and consciousness. According to this proposal, senses are ways of perceiving. Each sense is a subfaculty that comprises a collection of perceptual capacities. What each sense shares and what differentiates one sense from another is the manner in which those capacities are exercised. Each way of perceiving involves a distinct type of information gathering, individuated by the information it functions to extract and the medium from which it does so. This approach distinguishes the project of characterizing and differentiating senses from that of attributing experiences to sensory modalities. Perceptual experiences are episodes in which perceptual capacities are exercised. Conscious perceptual episodes may be ascribed to distinct sensory modalities, according to the manners in which perceptual capacities are deployed on an occasion. According to this account, senses are not exclusive. First, their capacities may overlap. Second, perceptual episodes, including conscious experiences, may belong to multiple senses. Indeed, some episodes require the joint use of several senses. In this account, subjects have only limited first-person knowledge of the senses they employ.

In: Multisensory Research

This paper explores the automated recognition of objects and materials and their relation to depictions in images of all kinds: photographs, artwork, doodles by children, and any other visual representation. The way artists of all cultures, ages and skill levels depict objects and materials furnishes a gamut of ‘depictions’ so wide as to present a severe challenge to current algorithms — none of them perform satisfactorily across any but a few types of depiction. Indeed, most algorithms exhibit a significant performance loss when the images used are non photographic in nature. This loss can be explained using the tacit assumptions that underlay nearly every algorithm for recognition. Appeal to the art history literature provides an alternative set of assumptions, that are more robust to variations in depiction and which offer new ways forward for automated image analysis. This is important, not just to advance computer vision, but because of the new understanding and applications that it opens.

In: Art & Perception

Abstract

To control hand movement, we have both vision and proprioception, or position sense. The brain is known to integrate these to reduce variance. Here we ask whether older adults integrate vision and proprioception in a way that minimizes variance as young adults do, and whether older subjects compensate for an imposed visuo-proprioceptive mismatch as young adults do. Ten healthy older adults (mean age 69) and 10 healthy younger adults (mean age 19) participated. Subjects were asked to estimate the position of visual, proprioceptive, and combined targets, with no direct vision of either hand. After a veridical baseline block, a spatial visuo-proprioceptive misalignment was gradually imposed by shifting the visual component forward from the proprioceptive component without the subject’s awareness. Older subjects were more variable than young subjects at estimating both visual and proprioceptive target positions. Older subjects tended to rely more heavily on vision than proprioception compared to younger subjects. However, the weighting of vision vs. proprioception was correlated with minimum variance predictions for both older and younger adults, suggesting that variance-minimizing mechanisms are present to some degree in older adults. Visual and proprioceptive realignment were similar for young and older subjects in the misalignment block, suggesting older subjects are able to realign as much as young subjects. These results suggest that intact multisensory processing in older adults should be explored as a potential means of mitigating degradation in individual sensory systems.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

Evidence concerning the relationship between attention and multisensory integration has long been thought to lead us into a paradox. The paradox has its roots in evidence that seems to show that attention exerts an influence on integration, and that integration also exerts an influence on attention. This creates an appearance of paradox only if it is understood to imply that particular instances of the integration process must occur both before and after particular instances of the attention process. But this appearance of paradox can be removed if we can find a way to resist the idea that there must be fixed temporal relations between the instances of these processes. That idea can seem hard to resist if both are understood to be processes of the sort that are brought to a halt by their own completion. Reflection on a metaphysical distinction between different sorts of process shows this understanding can be rejected. The appearance of paradox is thereby removed.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

The majority of emotional expressions used in daily communication are multimodal and dynamic in nature. Consequently, one would expect that human observers utilize specific perceptual strategies to process emotions and to handle the multimodal and dynamic nature of emotions. However, our present knowledge on these strategies is scarce, primarily because most studies on emotion perception have not fully covered this variation, and instead used static and/or unimodal stimuli with few emotion categories. To resolve this knowledge gap, the present study examined how dynamic emotional auditory and visual information is integrated into a unified percept. Since there is a broad spectrum of possible forms of integration, both eye movements and accuracy of emotion identification were evaluated while observers performed an emotion identification task in one of three conditions: audio-only, visual-only video, or audiovisual video. In terms of adaptations of perceptual strategies, eye movement results showed a shift in fixations toward the eyes and away from the nose and mouth when audio is added. Notably, in terms of task performance, audio-only performance was mostly significantly worse than video-only and audiovisual performances, but performance in the latter two conditions was often not different. These results suggest that individuals flexibly and momentarily adapt their perceptual strategies to changes in the available information for emotion recognition, and these changes can be comprehensively quantified with eye tracking.

In: Multisensory Research
Authors: Tutku Öztel and Fuat Balcı

Our subjective experience of time intervals is susceptible to the effects of the various properties of the timed stimuli/events (e.g., motion, size, affect). For instance, subjective time is considerably lengthened when observing faster and shortened when observing slower walking animations. Such effects on perceived time have been investigated widely in the field. What we do not know based on these studies is if participants are aware of these sorts of stimulus-induced timing illusions. Thus, the current study, using confidence ratings, investigated whether the participants are aware of their largely biased time perception induced by the observed walking speed in a temporal bisection task. After each categorization of a probe interval as ‘short’ or ‘long’, we asked participants to rate their confidence level regarding their categorization. We reasoned that if participants were aware of their biased time perception, the temporal modulation of confidence ratings regarding their categorization performance would not change between different walking speed conditions. We found that confidence ratings closely tracked shifts in the psychometric functions suggesting that participants were not aware of the stimulus-induced warping of perceived time. We replicated these findings in a second experiment. Our results show that human participants are not aware of the stimulus-induced temporal illusions they experience.

In: Timing & Time Perception
Author: Charles Spence

Abstract

A wide variety of crossmodal correspondences, defined as the often surprising connections that people appear to experience between simple features, attributes, or dimensions of experience, either physically present or else merely imagined, in different sensory modalities, have been demonstrated in recent years. However, a number of crossmodal correspondences have also been documented between more complex (i.e., multi-component) stimuli, such as, for example, pieces of music and paintings. In this review, the extensive evidence supporting the emotional mediation account of the crossmodal correspondences between musical stimuli (mostly pre-recorded short classical music excerpts) and visual stimuli, including colour patches through to, on occasion, paintings, is critically evaluated. According to the emotional mediation account, it is the emotional associations that people have with stimuli that constitutes one of the fundamental bases on which crossmodal associations are established. Taken together, the literature that has been published to date supports emotional mediation as one of the key factors underlying the crossmodal correspondences involving emotionally-valenced stimuli, both simple and complex.

In: Multisensory Research