Recent research on human perception is selectively reviewed with a focus on emer- ging issues in cognitive science and cognitive psychology. An important new approach to perception is identified that emphasizes integrated processes involving relationships among different features extracted from multiple modalities. We propose this new approach termed “integrated perception”. Characteristics of “integrated perception” include an emphasis on trade-offs and interactive relations between perceptual pro- cesses, and incorporation implicitly connected processes as well as individual differences. These topics tend to be discounted in conventional approaches. Instead, conventional approaches in cognitive and brain sciences have been based on traditional reduction- ism which focuses exclusively on accounts of individual constituent processes, but not their inter-relationships. Alternatively, new research themes reflecting integrated per- ception feature topics such as: Attention, Object & scene perception, Representation of body and space, Trans-modal perception, Aesthetics, and Synesthesia (i.e. AORTAS project). Recent progress in this vein is introduced which concerns research on object view dependency, visual-thermal interaction, and Japanese grapheme-color synesthesia.
Humans easily recognize objects and perceive their attributes such as shape, color, and material. To achieve these high-level functions, it has generally been assumed that the visual system must reconstruct three dimensional surfaces from the retinal image via deep neural computations. However, recent advances in computer vision and psychophysics lead to an alternative scheme that the human visual system utilizes low-level image features and their statistics directly to recognize 3D objects, scenes, materials, and even arts. This heuristics-based vision requires shallow computation, and is indeed suitable for quick and efficient comprehension of objects and stuffs in the real world. However, such a shortcut is insufficient to explain our ability of ’looking through the truth’ via careful scrutiny. The present paper reviews recent findings and debates concerned with this paradigm shift.
Extant studies have examined factors contributing to perception of attractiveness of individual human faces. Because those studies primarily focused on ratings of at- tractiveness of a single target face, it was unclear whether observers could perceive attractiveness of a group of people as a whole. The present study examined whether observers could compare the group-wide attractiveness between two groups consisted of multiple members. We predicted that observers should be able to discriminate which of the two groups was higher attractiveness. Observers were briefly (1500 ms) exposed with two frames of images each of which consisted of four faces and determined the one that they believed more attractive as a whole. The results indicated that discrimination accuracy was above chance level. Virtually identical pattern of the results was obtained when each group consisted of eight faces in Experiment 3 and when exposure duration was 500 ms or 100 ms in Experiment 4. These results suggest that observers could per- ceive attractiveness of a group of people as a whole when discriminating attractiveness of two groups of people.
We examined the relationship between dexterity and movement to facilitate picking up visual information in a skilled task, the kendama trick of “swing-in.” Two kendama experts performed the swing-in motion while wearing liquid crystal occlusion goggles in the control and experimental (occluded) conditions. Occlusion glasses were open in the control condition, but open and closed at pre-set intervals in the occluded condition. After practice, the results identified a preference for seeing of the zenith of the ball trajectory for both experts at all levels in the occluded condition. Ball movement in the anterior-posterior axis for both experts was larger in the occluded than in the control condition, and was changed by the opening time of the goggles for expert A. Head movement in the vertical axis for both experts was longer in the occluded than in the control condition, but changed by the goggle’s intervals for expert B. Ball velocity with the coordinate origin at the head for both experts was nearly constant when the ball trajectory was near the zenith in both conditions and when the goggles were open in the occluded condition. However, the orientation of the head was longer in the occluded than in the control condition. These findings suggest that both experts detected optical information for catching the ball when the ball trajectory was near its zenith in intermittent viewing conditions, and that it is easier pick up this information in the occluded condition due the longer duration of the nearly constant relative velocity of the ball. Both experts adjusted their actions to easily detect the necessary optical information under visual constraints, al- though expert A adjusted the movement of the ball and expert B adjusted his head movement to the goggle’s opening intervals.
This study aims to further examine the cross-cultural differences in multisensory emo- tion perception between Western and East Asian people. In this study, we recorded the audiovisual stimulus video of Japanese actors saying neutral phrase with one of the basic emotions. Then we conducted a validation experiment of the stimuli. In the first part (facial expression), participants watched a silent video of actors and judged what kind of emotion the actor is expressing by choosing among 6 options (i.e., happiness, anger, disgust, sadness, surprise, and fear). In the second part (vocal expression), they listened to the audio part of the same videos without video images while the task was the same. We analyzed their categorization responses based on accuracy and confusion matrix, and discussed the tendency of emotion perception by Japanese.
We examined the effects of negative (anger, sadness, and disgust) and positive (hap- piness) stimuli on face recognition. We adopted the flicker paradigm composed of change-detection (Experiment A) and memory (Experiment B) tasks. In the change- detection task, each trial cycled through two displays separated by a blank display until a response was made. The participants (n = 20) were asked to attend to and detect the changed face. In the memory task, each trial cycled through the memory and blank displays for 10s. In accordance with the flicker paradigm, the cueing stimulus appeared in the location of a single test item for 1000 ms. The participants were asked to memorize and later recall which faces were presented in the cued location. Negative face advantage was observed in the change-detection task, whereas the positive face advantage was observed in the memory task. These results suggest that the detection process modulates the negative face advantage, while the memory process modulates the positive face advantage.
A motion picture consists of separate shots that are filmed at different times in differ- ent locations. Cuts, which are instantaneous transitions between shots, induce abrupt changes in view that have no counterparts in the real world. Despite these discontinuous transitions, film viewers are able to perceive a sequence of shots as a continuously un- folding event, being unaware of these cuts. The purpose of this article is to investigate the relationship between the unawareness of existence of these cuts and the structure of events in narrative films. In the experiment, participants viewed excerpts from fea- ture films and were instructed to intentionally detect cuts. To assess the relationship between cut detection and the structure of events, a logistic regression analysis was conducted. The results showed that the number of event segmentations and edit types were related to the detectability of the cuts, such that the detectability of the cuts increased with an increase in the number of event segmentations. Cuts accompanying scene continuity were missed more than cuts without any continuity. This study also discusses the relationship between the structure of events and film perception.
The present study examines the use of multiple agents as experimental tools for inves- tigating human collaboration behaviors. The study suggests two types of methods to ensure the effective use of agents for human experiments: (1) instructing participants to believe that they are collaborating with actual human partners, and (2) using embod- ied agents equipped with social cues that use certain human characteristics. These two methods were investigated by conducting a controlled experiment in a collaborative problem-solving task where members had to insightfully change their perspective to discover the solution. The following two situations were investigated to determine the degree of perspective change based on previous studies on human group dynamics: (a) engaging with members with different perspectives (majority), and (b) engaging with a member with a different perspective (minority). Results showed that perspective-taking behaviors were detected in the two suggested methods. Specifically, the effects of the dynamics of group members (agents) with different perspectives had a stronger influence on perspective change. The study contributes to collaboration studies demonstrating new methodologies, such as using agents as experimental tools. Further, it presents interesting views on human interaction; interactions succeed not only when humans think they are interacting with other humans but also with artifacts that have simple designs like humans.
The reverse correlation method is a standard technique in visual neurophysiology for analyzing spatiotemporal structure of linear receptive field of early visual neurons. A new discrete-time reverse-correlation technique for the study of visual neurons was proposed to measure orientation and spatial frequency tuning of early visual neurons, the so-called subspace-reverse-correlation method. It was shown that if the neuron can be modeled as a spatiotemporal linear filter followed by a static nonlinearity, the cross- correlation between the stimulus sequence and the cell’s spike train output gives the projection of the receptive field onto the subspace of frequency space. Several advan- tages of the subspace-reverse-correlation method over standard white-noise techniques were reported. In this paper, I show the application of this method to psychophysics ,especially for measuring spatial frequency tuning of human perception. Furthermore, I show that this technique will be applicable and useful for wide variety of cognitive science research．A possible problems of subspace-reverse-correlation method are also discussed.
The aim of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of perception is to unravel the neural basis of the computational processing of the targeted perception. A standard fMRI study of perception generally uses simple stimuli, such as geometrical graphics in vision and pure tones in audition, and measures brain responses to such artificial stimuli, which are generated carefully. The target brain activity of percep- tual processing has been investigated using a contrast between stimulus conditions, to cancel out other processes. In contrast, the brain’s response to naturalistic stimuli is considered not to be a combination of responses to simple stimuli. The uncontrolled per- ceptual processes that are evoked in parallel hamper the analysis of the data in a simple factorial manner. In this article, I briefly reviewed fMRI studies that used naturalis- tic stimuli (e.g., photos and movies) and introduced nonstandard analytical methods. One was the computational model-based analysis of a hypothesis-driven study, and the other was the intersubject correlation of data-driven research. A model-based fMRI study can directly predict the brain responses to the processing of dynamic perception (e.g., motion perception in the middle temporal area). Intersubject correlation can be used to evaluate the reliability of fMRI signals in response to naturalistic stimuli. In addition, I introduced a decoding technique using pattern recognition, which has been used widely not only in the engineering but also in the neuroscience fields. Although the number of studies using naturalistic stimuli and novel analytical methods has in- creased, the standard fMRI study using simple stimuli and analysis remains the most effective approach to identify the neural bases of perception. I expect that these stan- dard and novel fMRI studies will contribute complementarily to the elucidation of the brain processes for naturalistic stimuli.