No contribution of object category information in perceptual thresholds : evidence from Candy Crush

RALEVA, Gabriela, THIRKETTLE, Martin, GAO, Jie and STAFFORD, Tom (2017). No contribution of object category information in perceptual thresholds : evidence from Candy Crush. In: AVA Christmas Meeting, Queen Mary University of London, December 18, 2017. (Unpublished)

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An emerging view in visual learning is that the rewards associated with particular visual stimuli lead to enhanced early sensory representations. However, it is unclear whether object category information is required for reward-related facilitation of early sensory representations, or whether any facilitation occurs at a more fundamental level. Video games which rely on in-game icons of rewarding or neutral value offer an excellent arena in which to investigate the development of any changes in representation. To test these alternative explanations, we compared the ability of 33 Candy Crush players against 32 nonplayers to detect icons which had rewarding or neutral roles within the game. Using diffeomorphic scrambling to preserve the basic visual properties, the threshold for detection of a rewarding icon, a neutral icon and a control pair of nongame icons within a 7x7 grid of distractor icons was measured. Each participant’s thresholds were measured in a two-alternative forced choice staircase procedure. Both players and nonplayers were significantly better at detecting the rewarding in-game icon than the neutral icon and all participants showed similar reductions in threshold for the reward-associated control icon compared to the neutral control icon. Even though our most practiced players had accumulated years of experience, there was no association between playing time and perceptual thresholds. Our results suggest that there is a strong contribution of the basic visual features to performance levels both with the Candy Crush and control targets, and provide no evidence that even long experience with reward association heightens perceptual sensitivity independent of object category information.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
Depositing User: Martin Thirkettle
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 07:41

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