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A matter of design: No representational momentum without predictability

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When observers are asked to localize the final position of a moving target, a forward shift of the judged final position is observed. So far, the forward shift has been attributed to the influence of mental continuation of the final target position (representational momentum). However, studies investigating forward displacement have used highly predictable target motion. The direction of target motion and the final target position were often varied between subjects. Thus, observers may have expected the target to travel in a particular direction or vanish at a particular location before a given trial started. In this study, direction of motion and final position were treated as fixed or random factors. The forward shift and the reversal of the shift with time (memory averaging) were absent when both factors were randomized. Thus, the forward shift with implied motion is restricted to repeatedly observed motion sequences that allow for pre-trial motion prediction.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-02-01

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