Dataset Open Access
Lezkan, Alexandra; Drewing, Knut
Where textures are defined by repetitive small spatial structures, exploration covering a greater extent will lead to signal repetition. We investigated how sensory estimates derived from these signals are integrated. In Experiment 1 participants stroked with the index finger one to eight times across two virtual gratings. Half of the participants discriminated according to ridge amplitude, the other half according to ridge spatial period. In both tasks just noticeable differences (JNDs) decreased with an increasing number of strokes. Those gains from additional exploration were over 3 times smaller than predicted for optimal observers who have access to equally reliable, and therefore equally weighted estimates for the entire exploration. We assume that the sequential nature of the exploration leads to memory decay of sensory estimates. Thus, participants compare an overall estimate of the first stimulus, which is affected by memory decay, to stroke-specific estimates during the exploration of the second stimulus. This was tested in Experiments 2 & 3. The spatial period of one stroke across either the first or second of two sequentially presented gratings was slightly discrepant from periods in all other strokes. This allowed calculating weights of stroke-specific estimates in the overall percept. As predicted, weights were approximately equal for all strokes in the first stimulus, while weights decreased during the exploration of the second stimulus. A quantitative Kalman filter model of our assumptions was consistent with the data. Hence, our results support an optimal integration model for sequential information given that memory decay affects comparison processes.