Combined effects of expectations and visual uncertainty upon detection and identification of a target in the fog
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Detecting a pedestrian while driving in the fog is one situation where the prior expectation about the target presence is integrated with the noisy visual input. We focus on how these sources of information influence the oculomotor behavior and are integrated within an underlying decision-making process. The participants had to judge whether high-/low-density fog scenes displayed on a computer screen contained a pedestrian or a deer by executing a mouse movement toward the response button (mouse-tracking). A variable road sign was added on the scene to manipulate expectations about target identity. We then analyzed the timing and amplitude of the deviation of mouse trajectories toward the incorrect response and, using an eye tracker, the detection time (before fixating the target) and the identification time (fixations on the target). Results revealed that expectation of the correct target results in earlier decisions with less deviation toward the alternative response, this effect being partially explained by the facilitation of target identification.
KeywordsVisual search Perceptual decision-making Mouse-tracking Perceptual uncertainty Expectations
This study was approved by the French Comité de Protection des Personnes “Sud-Est VI” (IRB00008526, CE65, 2014). The authors would like to thank Annique Smeding for her comments on the submitted version of this article.
This work was funded by grants from the French program “investissement d’avenir” managed by the National Research Agency (ANR), from the European Union (Auvergne European Regional Development Funds -ERDF- of Auvergne region) and from the “Région Auvergne” in the framework of the IMobS3 LabEx (ANR-10-LABX-16-01).
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