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...... 2018 pisavisionlab scaled Paula Andrea Maldonado Moscoso Cecilia Steinwurzel Paola Binda Luca Lo Verde Irene Togoli Alessandro Benedetto Akshatha Bhat Roberto Arrighi Maria Concetta Morrone David Burr Guido Marco Cicchini Tam Ho Giovanni Anobile Antonella Pomè Claudia Lunghi Francesca Tinelli Kyriaki Mikellidou Jan Kurzawski Marco Turi Elisa Castaldi ERC ECSPLAIN About PisaVisionLab ....

 Thank you to all who attended the GenPercept KickOff meeting in Matera!!!


New Research published on Journal of Vision!

Congratulation to David who just published a new paper on Journal of Vision!

Kim, S., Burr, D. & Alais, D. (2019). Attraction to the recent past in aesthetic judgments: A positive serial dependence for rating artwork, Journal of Vision, 12 (19), 19. PDF

Visual perception can be systematically biased towards the recent past. Many stimulus attributes—including orientation, numerosity, facial expression and attractiveness, and perceived slimness—are systematically biased towards recent past experience. This phenomenon has been termed serial dependence. In the current study, we tested whether serial dependence occurs for aesthetic ratings of artworks. A set of 100 paintings depicting scenery and still life was collected from online archives. For each participant, 40 paintings were randomly selected from the set, and presented sequentially 20 times in random order. Serial dependence was quantified for each observer by measuring how their rating response on each trial depended on the attractiveness of the previous trial. The data were pooled across participants and fitted with a Bayesian model of serial dependence. Results showed that the current painting earned significantly higher aesthetic ratings when participants viewed a more attractive painting on the previous trial, compared to when they viewed a less attractive one. The magnitude of serial dependence was greatest when the attractiveness distance between consecutive paintings was relatively close. The effect held both for 1 s exposure times, and for brief 250 ms exposures (followed by a mask). These findings show that aesthetic judgments are not sequentially independent, showing that positive serial dependencies are not limited to low-level perceptual judgments.



New Research published on Attention, Perception & Psychophysics!

Congratulation to Antonella, Giovanni, Marco and Daivid for their last publication on Attention, Perception & Psychophysics!

Pomè, A., Anobile, G., Cicchini, G. M., Scabia, A. & Burr, D. C. (2019). Higher attentional costs for numerosity estimation at high densities, Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, PDF

Humans can estimate numerosity over a large range, but the precision with which they do so varies considerably over that range. For very small sets, within the subitizing range of up to about four items, estimation is rapid and errorless. For intermediate numerosities, errors vary directly with the numerosity, following Weber’s law, but for very high numerosities, with very dense patterns, thresholds continue to rise with the square root of numerosity. This suggests that three different mechanisms operate over the number range. In this study we provide further evidence for three distinct numerosity mechanisms, by studying their dependence on attentional resources. We measured discrimination thresholds over a wide range of numerosities, while manipulating attentional load with both visual and auditory dual tasks. The results show that attentional effects on thresholds vary over the number range. Both visual and auditory attentional loads strongly affect subitizing, much more than for larger numerosities. Attentional costs remain stable over the estimation range, then rise again for very dense patterns. These results reinforce the idea that numerosity is processed by three separates but probably overlapping systems.

New Research published on Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience!

Congratulation to AlessandroConcetta and Alice who just published a new paper on Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience!

Benedetto, A., Morrone, C. & Tomassini, A. (2019). The Common Rhythm of Action and Perception., Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, PDF

Research in the last decade has undermined the idea of perception as a continuous process, providing strong empirical support for its rhythmic modulation. More recently, it has been revealed that the ongoing motor processes influence the rhythmic sampling of sensory information. In this review, we will focus on a growing body of evidence suggesting that oscillation-based mechanisms may structure the dynamic interplay between the motor and sensory system and provide a unified temporal frame for their effective coordination. We will describe neurophysiological data, primarily collected in animals, showing phase-locking of neuronal oscillations to the onset of (eye) movements. These data are complemented by novel evidence in humans, which demonstrate the behavioral relevance of these oscillatory modulations and their domain-general nature. Finally, we will discuss the possible implications of these modulations for action-perception coupling mechanisms.


New Research published on Behavioral and Brain Sciences!

Congratulation to Marco and David who just published a new paper on Behavioral and Brain Science!

Cicchini, G. M. & Burr, D. (2018). Serial Effects are optimal, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, (41), PDF

In the target article, Rahnev & Denison (R&D) use serial effects as an example of suboptimality. We show here that serial effects can be beneficial to perception, serving to reduce both error and response times in a near-optimal fashion. Furthermore, serial effects for stable attributes are positive, whereas those for changeable attributes are negative, demonstrating that they are engaged flexibly to optimize performance.


New Research published on Neuropsychologia!

Congratulation to Giovanni, Marco and David who just published a new paper on Neuropsychologia!

Anobile, G., Cicchini, G. M., Gasperini, F. & Burr, D. (2018). Typical numerosity adaptation despite selectively impaired number acuity in dyscalculia, Neuropsychologia, PDF

It has been suggested that a core deficit of the “number sense” may underlie dyscalculia. We test this idea by measuring perceptual adaptation and discrimination thresholds for numerosity and object size in a group of dyscalculic and typical preadolescents (N=71, mean age 12). We confirmed that numerosity discrimination thresholds are higher in evelopmental dyscalculia, while size thresholds are not affected. However, dyscalculics adapted to numerosity in a similar way to typicals. This suggests that although numerosity thresholds are selectively higher in dyscalculia, the mechanisms for perceiving numerosity are otherwise similar, suggesting that that have a similar, but perhaps noisier, number sense.

2018 giovanniNeuropsychologia



New Research published on the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B!

Congratulation to Marco, Koulla and David who just published a new paper on Proc. R. Soc. B!

Cicchini, G. M., Mikellidou, K. & Burr, D. (2018). The functional role of serial dependence, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, PDF

The world tends to be stable from moment to moment, leading to strong serial correlations in natural scenes. As similar stimuli usually require similar behavioral responses, it is highly likely that the brain has developed strategies to leverage these regularities. A good deal of recent psychophysical evidence is beginning to show that the brain is sensitive to serial correlations, causing strong drifts in observer responses towards previously seen stimuli. However, it is still not clear that this tendency leads to a functional advantage. Here we test a formal model of optimal serial dependence and show that as predicted, serial dependence in an orientation reproduction task is dependent on current stimulus reliability, with less precise stimuli, such as low spatial frequency oblique Gabors, exhibiting the strongest effects. We also show that serial dependence depends on the similarity between two successive stimuli, again consistent with behavior of an ideal observer aiming at minimizing reproduction errors. Lastly, we show that serial dependence leads to faster response times, indicating that the benefits of serial integration go beyond reproduction error. Overall our data show that serial dependence has a beneficial role at various levels of perception, consistent with the idea that the brain exploits temporal redundancy of the visual scene as an optimization strategy



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