Examining visual complexity and its effect on perceived duration

Palumbo, Letizia and Ogden, Ruth and Makin, Alexis James and Bertamini, Marco (2014) Examining visual complexity and its effect on perceived duration. Journal of Vision, 14 (3). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1534-7362

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Abstract

We investigated whether visual complexity of novel
abstract patterns affects perceived duration. Previous
research has reported that complex visual stimuli led
to an underestimation of durations. However, to
clarify the nature of the time estimation process, it is
necessary to establish which component of image
complexity, spatial or semantic, plays the critical role.
Here we tested the impact of specific spatial
properties. We used unfamiliar and abstract patterns
made using black-and-white checkerboards in which
the difference between stimuli was exclusively in
configuration. Visual complexity was quantified by the
GIF index based on a compression algorithm, which
scanned the pattern in both horizontal and vertical
directions. This metric correlated positively with
subjective complexity (Experiment 1A). In the second
study, we increased variability in the stimuli by
changing the number of items across patterns while
keeping overall size constant. A high positive
correlation was found between objective and
subjective complexity (r ¼ 0.95) (Experiment 2A). In
Experiments 1B and 2B, observers estimated pattern
durations in seconds using a continuous scale. A
multilevel linear analysis found that perceived
duration was not predicted by visual complexity for
either of the two sets of stimuli. These results provide
new constraints to theories of time perception,
hypothesizing that complexity leads to an
underestimation of duration when it reduces attention
to time.

Item Type: Article
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Users 23 not found.
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 17:34
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 17:34
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/827

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