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The behavioral urgency of objects approaching your avatar.

Schreij D, Olivers CN - Atten Percept Psychophys (2015)

Bottom Line: However, humans are also capable of identifying with entities outside one's own body.Moreover, response speeding was frequently accompanied by an increase in errors, consistent with recent evidence that the urgency of looming is at least to a large extent expressed in response processes rather than in perceptual selection of the looming object.Thus, a general version of the behavioral-urgency hypothesis also holds for external entities with which the observer can identify.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Cognitive Psychology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. d.schreij@vu.nl.

ABSTRACT
The behavioral-urgency hypothesis (Franconeri & Simons, Psychological Science, 19, 686-692, 2003) states that dynamic visual properties capture human visual attention if they signal the need for immediate action. The seminal example is the potential collision of a looming object with one's body. However, humans are also capable of identifying with entities outside one's own body. Here we report evidence that behavioral urgency transfers to an avatar in a simple 2-D computer game. By controlling the avatar, the participant responded to shape changes of the target in a visual search task. Simultaneously, and completely irrelevant to the task, one of the objects on screen could move. Responses were overall fastest when the target happened to be the moving object and was on a collision course with the avatar, as compared to when the moving target just passed by the avatar or moved away from it. The effects on search efficiency were less consistent, except that search was more efficient overall whenever a target moved. Moreover, response speeding was frequently accompanied by an increase in errors, consistent with recent evidence that the urgency of looming is at least to a large extent expressed in response processes rather than in perceptual selection of the looming object. Thus, a general version of the behavioral-urgency hypothesis also holds for external entities with which the observer can identify.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Example display for Experiments 2 and 3. As compared to Experiment 1, the whole search display was rotated 90 deg, and the avatar was now placed at the left or right side of the screen instead of only at the bottom. On the opposite side from the avatar a blue oval was positioned in Experiment 2, and an inanimate avatar image in Experiment 3
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Fig2: Example display for Experiments 2 and 3. As compared to Experiment 1, the whole search display was rotated 90 deg, and the avatar was now placed at the left or right side of the screen instead of only at the bottom. On the opposite side from the avatar a blue oval was positioned in Experiment 2, and an inanimate avatar image in Experiment 3

Mentions: We report three experiments that showed the same overall pattern. In Experiment 1, the avatar was the only object present toward which the search items could move. To control for the idea that priority might be given to items approaching any salient stimulus at the edge of the screen, and not necessarily an avatar, Experiment 2 included a simple but salient inanimate object (a uniquely colored oval) at the opposite side of the screen, to control for any visual presence at the display side. In Experiment 3, this inanimate object was replaced with an avatar look-a-like, which shared the exact visual features with the avatar but was still inanimate. In this way, we could assess whether actually controlling the avatar is crucial, or whether looking like a human figure is in itself sufficient. We point out that the player’s own avatar only started moving at a buttonpress or mouse movement, from which moment the RT was recorded. Hence, our measurements were not affected by the avatar’s motion itself. We furthermore decided to turn the displays by 90 deg in Experiments 2 and 3 (see Fig. 2), to control for the possibility that the downward motion in the displays of Experiment 1 was interpreted as motion toward the observer’s own body (e.g., toward the legs under the table). Furthermore, the task of controlling the avatar and responding to the targets was made easier, in order to reduce the relatively large number of errors found in Experiment 1.Fig. 2


The behavioral urgency of objects approaching your avatar.

Schreij D, Olivers CN - Atten Percept Psychophys (2015)

Example display for Experiments 2 and 3. As compared to Experiment 1, the whole search display was rotated 90 deg, and the avatar was now placed at the left or right side of the screen instead of only at the bottom. On the opposite side from the avatar a blue oval was positioned in Experiment 2, and an inanimate avatar image in Experiment 3
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4644209&req=5

Fig2: Example display for Experiments 2 and 3. As compared to Experiment 1, the whole search display was rotated 90 deg, and the avatar was now placed at the left or right side of the screen instead of only at the bottom. On the opposite side from the avatar a blue oval was positioned in Experiment 2, and an inanimate avatar image in Experiment 3
Mentions: We report three experiments that showed the same overall pattern. In Experiment 1, the avatar was the only object present toward which the search items could move. To control for the idea that priority might be given to items approaching any salient stimulus at the edge of the screen, and not necessarily an avatar, Experiment 2 included a simple but salient inanimate object (a uniquely colored oval) at the opposite side of the screen, to control for any visual presence at the display side. In Experiment 3, this inanimate object was replaced with an avatar look-a-like, which shared the exact visual features with the avatar but was still inanimate. In this way, we could assess whether actually controlling the avatar is crucial, or whether looking like a human figure is in itself sufficient. We point out that the player’s own avatar only started moving at a buttonpress or mouse movement, from which moment the RT was recorded. Hence, our measurements were not affected by the avatar’s motion itself. We furthermore decided to turn the displays by 90 deg in Experiments 2 and 3 (see Fig. 2), to control for the possibility that the downward motion in the displays of Experiment 1 was interpreted as motion toward the observer’s own body (e.g., toward the legs under the table). Furthermore, the task of controlling the avatar and responding to the targets was made easier, in order to reduce the relatively large number of errors found in Experiment 1.Fig. 2

Bottom Line: However, humans are also capable of identifying with entities outside one's own body.Moreover, response speeding was frequently accompanied by an increase in errors, consistent with recent evidence that the urgency of looming is at least to a large extent expressed in response processes rather than in perceptual selection of the looming object.Thus, a general version of the behavioral-urgency hypothesis also holds for external entities with which the observer can identify.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Cognitive Psychology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. d.schreij@vu.nl.

ABSTRACT
The behavioral-urgency hypothesis (Franconeri & Simons, Psychological Science, 19, 686-692, 2003) states that dynamic visual properties capture human visual attention if they signal the need for immediate action. The seminal example is the potential collision of a looming object with one's body. However, humans are also capable of identifying with entities outside one's own body. Here we report evidence that behavioral urgency transfers to an avatar in a simple 2-D computer game. By controlling the avatar, the participant responded to shape changes of the target in a visual search task. Simultaneously, and completely irrelevant to the task, one of the objects on screen could move. Responses were overall fastest when the target happened to be the moving object and was on a collision course with the avatar, as compared to when the moving target just passed by the avatar or moved away from it. The effects on search efficiency were less consistent, except that search was more efficient overall whenever a target moved. Moreover, response speeding was frequently accompanied by an increase in errors, consistent with recent evidence that the urgency of looming is at least to a large extent expressed in response processes rather than in perceptual selection of the looming object. Thus, a general version of the behavioral-urgency hypothesis also holds for external entities with which the observer can identify.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus