Holding an object one is looking at: Kinesthetic information on the object's distance does not improve visual judgments of its size

Eli Brenner*, Wim J.M. Van Damme, Jeroen B.J. Smeets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Visual judgments of distance are often inaccurate. Nevertheless, information on distance must be procured if retinal image size is to be used to judge an object's dimensions. In the present study, we examined whether kinesthetic information about an object's distance - based on the posture of the arm and hand when holding it - influences the object's perceived size. Subjects were presented with a computer simulation of a cube. This cube's position was coupled to that of a rod in the subject's hand. Its size was varied between presentations. Subjects had to judge whether the cube they saw was larger than, smaller than, or the same size as a reference. On some presentations, a small difference was introduced between the positions of the rod and of the simulated cube. When the simulated cube was slightly closer than the rod, subjects judged the cube to be larger. When it was farther away, they judged it to be smaller. We show that these changes in perceived size are due to alterations in the cube's distance from the subject rather than to kinesthetic information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1159
Number of pages7
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Volume59
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997

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