, Volume 195, Issue 1, pp 167-172
Date: 07 Apr 2009

Perception of movement extent depends on the extent of previous movements

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We report an aftereffect in perception of the extent (or degree or range) of joint movement, showing for the first time that a prolonged exposure to a passive back-and-forth movement of a certain extent results in a change in judgment of the extent of a subsequently presented movement. The adapting stimulus, movement about the wrist, had an extent of either 30° or 75°, while the test stimulus was a 50° movement. Following a 4-min adaptation period, the estimated magnitudes of the test stimuli were 61° and 36° in the 30° and 75° condition, respectively (t test(6) = 9.6; p < 0.001). The observed effect is an instance of repulsion or contrast commonly described in perception literature, with perceived value of the test stimulus pushed away from the adapting stimulus.