Sensorimotor contingency modulates breakthrough of virtual 3D objects during a breaking continuous flash suppression paradigm

Suzuki, Keisuke, Schwartzman, David J, Augusto, Rafael and Seth, Anil K (2019) Sensorimotor contingency modulates breakthrough of virtual 3D objects during a breaking continuous flash suppression paradigm. Cognition. ISSN 0010-0277 (Accepted)

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To investigate how embodied sensorimotor interactions shape subjective visual experience, we developed a novel combination of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) within an adapted breaking continuous flash suppression (bCFS) paradigm. In a first experiment, participants manipulated novel virtual 3D objects, viewed through a head-mounted display, using three interlocking cogs. This setup allowed us to manipulate the sensorimotor contingencies governing interactions with virtual objects, while characterising the effects on subjective visual experience by measuring breakthrough times from bCFS. We contrasted the effects of the congruency (veridical versus reversed sensorimotor coupling) and contingency (live versus replayed interactions) using a motion discrimination task. The results showed that the contingency but not congruency of sensorimotor coupling affected breakthrough times, with live interactions displaying faster breakthrough times. In a second experiment, we investigated how the contingency of sensorimotor interactions affected object category discrimination within a more naturalistic setting, using a motion tracker that allowed object interactions with increased degrees of freedom. We again found that breakthrough times were faster for live compared to replayed interactions (contingency effect). Together, these data demonstrate that bCFS breakthrough times for unfamiliar 3D virtual objects are modulated by the contingency of the dynamic causal coupling between actions and their visual consequences, in line with theories of perception that emphasise the influence of sensorimotor contingencies on visual experience. The combination of VR/AR and motion tracking technologies with bCFS provides a novel methodology extending the use of binocular suppression paradigms into more dynamic and realistic sensorimotor environments.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Research Centres and Groups: Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition Including learning, attention, comprehension, memory, imagination, genius, intelligence, thought and thinking, psycholinguistics, mental fatigue > BF0311 Consciousness. Cognition
Depositing User: Marianne Cole
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2019 10:04
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2019 10:05

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