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Publication# Stronger serial dependence in the depth plane than the fronto-parallel plane between realistic objects: Evidence from virtual reality

Abstract

Visual estimates of stimulus features are systematically biased toward the features of previously encountered stimuli. Such serial dependencies have often been linked to how the brain maintains perceptual continuity. However, serial dependence has mostly been studied for simple two-dimensional stimuli. Here, we present the first attempt at examining serial dependence in three dimensions with natural objects, using virtual reality (VR). In Experiment 1, observers were presented with 3D virtually rendered objects commonly encountered in daily life and were asked to reproduce their orientation. The rotation plane of the object and its distance from the observer were manipulated. Large positive serial dependence effects were observed, but most notably, larger biases were observed when the object was rotated in depth, and when the object was rendered as being further away from the observer. In Experiment 2, we tested the object specificity of serial dependence by varying object identity from trial to trial. Similar serial dependence was observed irrespective of whether the test item was the same object, a different exemplar from the same object category, or a different object from a separate category. In Experiment 3, we manipulated the retinal size of the stimulus in conjunction with its distance. Serial dependence was most strongly modulated by retinal size, rather than VR depth cues. Our results suggest that the increased uncertainty added by the third dimension in VR increases serial dependence. We argue that investigating serial dependence in VR will provide potentially more accurate insights into the nature and mechanisms behind these biases.

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In , a branch of mathematics, an initial object of a C is an object I in C such that for every object X in C, there exists precisely one morphism I → X. The notion is that of a terminal object (also called terminal element): T is terminal if for every object X in C there exists exactly one morphism X → T. Initial objects are also called coterminal or universal, and terminal objects are also called final. If an object is both initial and terminal, it is called a zero object or null object.

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Category theory is a general theory of mathematical structures and their relations that was introduced by Samuel Eilenberg and Saunders Mac Lane in the middle of the 20th century in their foundational work on algebraic topology. Category theory is used in almost all areas of mathematics. In particular, numerous constructions of new mathematical objects from previous ones that appear similarly in several contexts are conveniently expressed and unified in terms of categories.

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