Reweighting visual cues by touch.

Robert J. van Beers*, Christa M. van Mierlo, Jeroen B J Smeets, Eli Brenner

*Corresponding author for this work

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It is well established that if multiple cues provide information about the same quantity, the information from these cues is combined by weighting each cue by the inverse of its variance. This implies that cue weights are determined by the cue variances only. However, this view is challenged by studies that showed that feedback about the actual value can induce changes in the cue weights when the feedback is consistent with one cue but not the other. We developed a paradigm that allowed us to measure the time course of this reweighting. Subjects placed an object flush onto a slanted surface. Monocular and binocular cues provided information about the slant and could be inconsistent with one another. Subjects received haptic feedback about whether they had oriented the object correctly when the object contacted the surface. This feedback was consistent with either the monocular or the binocular information. We found that the weight given to the visual cue that was consistent with the feedback increased relatively fast, leading to a mean weight change of 0.18 after 52 conflict trials. Thus, unless the haptic feedback somehow influences the reliability of the individual visual cues, the cue weights are not fully determined by the cue variances but also depend on the accuracy of each cue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
Pages (from-to)20.1-20.16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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