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New Research in Psychological Science

Congratulations to Giovanni, whose latest paper has just been accepted for publication in Psych Sci.

Separate Mechanisms for Perception of Numerosity and Density (aka Numerosity IS NOT Density)

Giovanni Anobile, Marco Cicchini and David C. Burr

Despite the existence of much evidence for a number sense in humans, several researchers have questioned whether number is sensed directly or derived indirectly from texture density. Here, we provide clear evidence that numerosity and density judgments are subserved by distinct mechanisms with different psychophysical characteristics. We measured sensitivity for numerosity discrimination over a wide range of numerosities: For low densities (less than 0.25 dots/deg2), thresholds increased directly with numerosity, following Weber’s law; for higher densities, thresholds increased with the square root of texture density, a steady decrease in the Weber fraction. The existence of two different psychophysical systems is inconsistent with a model in which number is derived indirectly from noisy estimates of density and area; rather, it points to the existence of separate mechanisms for estimating density and number. These results provide strong confirmation for the existence of neural mechanisms that sense number directly, rather than indirectly from texture density.

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Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015 14:13

New Research published on Behavioral and Brain Sciences!

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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.


Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2019 10:21

NextGenVis video

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Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2019 18:19


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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 ....

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 11:51

Autism TICS

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New Perspectives on Autism published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences

When the world becomes ‘too real’: a Bayesian explanation of autistic perception

Liz Pellicano and David Burr

Perceptual experience is influenced both by incoming sensory information and prior knowledge about the world, a concept recently formalised within Bayesian decision theory. We propose that Bayesian models can be applied to autism, a neurodevelopmental condition with atypicalities in sensation and perception, to pinpoint fundamental differences in perceptual mechanisms. We suggest specifically that attenuated Bayesian priors, ‘hypo-priors’, may be responsible for the unique perceptual experience of autistic people, leading to a tendency to perceive the world more accurately rather than modulated by prior experience. In this account, we consider how hypo-priors might explain key features of autism, the broad range of sensory and other non-social atypicalities, in addition to the phenomenological differences in autistic perception.

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Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015 14:15

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