Does binocular disparity or familiar size information override effects of relative size on judgements of time to contact?

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Previous studies indicate that non-tau sources of depth information, such as pictorial depth cues, can influence judgements of time to contact (TTC). The effect of relative size on such judgements, the size-arrival effect , is particularly robust. However, earlier studies of the size-arrival effect did not include binocular disparity or familiar size information. The effects of these cues on relative TTC judgements were measured. Results suggested that disparity can eliminate the size-arrival effect but that the amount of disparity needed to do so is greater than typical stereoacuity thresholds. In contrast, familiar size eliminated the size-arrival effect even when disparity information was not available. Furthermore, disparity contributed more to performance when familiar size was present than when it was absent. Consistent with previous studies, TTC judgements were influenced by multiple sources of information. The present results suggested further that familiar size is one such source of information and that familiar size moderates the influence of binocular disparity information.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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