Brave upside down world: Does looking between the legs elongate or shorten the perceived distance

Oliver Toskovic
2010 Psihologija  
The aim of this research was to give further evidence for the influence of vestibular and proprioceptive information on distance perception, and to verify how perceived distance changes if we use matching versus verbal judgment task. That is, the aim was to investigate how perceived distance changes when we bend over and look between the legs. The experiment was performed on a daylight open field (full-cue situation), with 20 participants, high school students from the Petnica Science Center.
more » ... rticipants had the task to match distances of two stimuli, one of which was in front of them at eye level, whereas the other was behind them, and they could observe it by bending their body forward and looking between the legs .Stimuli were 7cm*5cm large, and rectangular in shape. Results have shown that perceived distance changes in such a way that distances observed between the legs are perceived as longer than distances observed from an upright position. This difference in perceived distances exists only for larger physical distances (3m and 5m), but not for smaller physical distances (1m). Results coincide with our previous findings which indicate that vestibular and proprioceptive information change elongates perceived distance. On the other hand, the results contradict some findings gained in experiments in which the verbal judgment task was used. These contrary results probably appear because the verbal judgment task leaves more space for higher cognitive processes to be involved. Perception of distance is usually considered in terms of depth cues. Namely, since during the projection of the 3D world on a 2D retina one of the dimensions, depth, is being lost, our visual system cannot derive it directly from proximal stimulation. During this projection some characteristics of the perceived scene are distorted and it is presumed that the visual system uses these
doi:10.2298/psi1001021t fatcat:n7yuytcau5hxlkbfstxr2kjr3q