THE MEASUREMENT OF CAUSAL PERCEPTION THROUGH MEMORY DISPLACEMENT: IS ALL PASSING A NON-CAUSAL EVENT?

  • Nuno de Sa Teixeira
  • Armando M. Oliveira

Abstract

Forward memory displacement of the position of a moving object (RM) has been suggested to capture relevant properties of causal perception. However, the ability of RM to specifically index causality was called into question by Choi & Scholl (2006), who found equivalent patterns of RM reduction in causal “launching†and non-causal “passingâ€. This work takes issue with the idea that “passing†is an a priori non-causal event, by noting its similarities with the “braking effect†studied by Michotte’s collaborators. Two localisation response modalities (mouse and pointer) were used in displays where a square travelled across a screen with either a textured stripe of background or a steady rectangle (same height as the square). Target velocity, passing surface (stripe vs. rectangle-object), extent of passing, trajectory layer (in front vs. behind) and target’s travelled distance were crossed in a full factorial design. Overall results suggest the presence of subjective causal properties in these displays, meaningfully captured by RM.

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