MEASURING SIZE OF A NEVER-PRESENT OBJECT: VISUAL OBJECT FORMATION THROUGH SPATIOTEMPORAL INTERPOLATION
Spatiotemporal interpolation (STI) refers to perception of complete objects from fragmentary information across gaps in both space and time. No information about shape and size of the object is present in any static frame. Palmer, Kellman & Shipley (2006) found that STI for both illusory and occluded objects produced performance advantages in a discrimination paradigm. Here we report psychophysical studies testing whether STI produces representations that include metric properties of objects. By using an interleaved staircase method, we found that length can be accurately recovered for illusory triangles specified by sequential partial occlusions of background elements in their paths (the STI condition). In the control condition, three moving dots located at the vertices provided the same spatial and timing information as in the STI condition but they did not induce perception of interpolated contours or a coherent object nor accurate length judgments.