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Grouping effects in numerosity perception under prolonged viewing conditions
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1326-6177
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2019 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 14, no 2, article id e0207502Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Humans can estimate numerosities–such as the number sheep in a flock–without deliberate counting. A number of biases have been identified in these estimates, which seem primarily rooted in the spatial organization of objects (grouping, symmetry, etc). Most previous studies on the number sense used static stimuli with extremely brief exposure times. However, outside the laboratory, visual scenes are often dynamic and freely viewed for prolonged durations (e.g., a flock of moving sheep). The purpose of the present study is to examine grouping-induced numerosity biases in stimuli that more closely mimic these conditions. To this end, we designed two experiments with limited-dot-lifetime displays (LDDs), in which each dot is visible for a brief period of time and replaced by a new dot elsewhere after its disappearance. The dynamic nature of LDDs prevents subjects from counting even when they are free-viewing a stimulus under prolonged presentation. Subjects estimated the number of dots in arrays that were presented either as a single group or were segregated into two groups by spatial clustering, dot size, dot color, or dot motion. Grouping by color and motion reduced perceived numerosity compared to viewing them as a single group. Moreover, the grouping effect sizes between these two features were correlated, which suggests that the effects may share a common, feature-invariant mechanism. Finally, we find that dot size and total stimulus area directly affect perceived numerosity, which makes it difficult to draw reliable conclusions about grouping effects induced by spatial clustering and dot size. Our results provide new insights into biases in numerosity estimation and they demonstrate that the use of LDDs is an effective method to study the human number sense under prolonged viewing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2019. Vol. 14, no 2, article id e0207502
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-377185DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207502ISI: 000458761300006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-377185DiVA, id: diva2:1289124
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-00371Swedish Research Council, 2013-01005
Note

Leo Poom and Ronald van der Berg contributed equally to this work.

Available from: 2019-02-15 Created: 2019-02-15 Last updated: 2019-08-01Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207502

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Poom, LeoLindskog, MarcusWinman, AndersVan den Berg, Ronald

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