Jul 27, 2016

Mind over matter: A perceptual decision bias toward filled-in stimuli in the blind spot

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Benedikt V EhingerPeter König


Although there are no photoreceptors corresponding to the physiological blind spots, we experience visual content there as if it were veridical, when it is in fact only "filled in" based on the surroundings. Given that we have at least implicit knowledge that a stimulus is being filled in, could this knowledge bias our behavior? We asked subjects to choose between a stimulus partially presented in the blind spot that elicits filling in and another at the same eccentricity outside of the blind spot. Subjects displayed a bias toward the blind spot stimulus, where the filled-in part could have actually concealed a non-target (15.01%, CDI 95: 8.49%-21.08%). Two control experiments confirmed this finding. The preference for inferred versus veridical content suggests that the locally inferred percept is favored due to reduced external noise in concordance with predictive coding models of visual processing.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Visual Processing
Photoreceptors, Plant
Surrounding (Qualifier Value)
Research Study

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