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Witt, J. K., Stefanucci, J. K., Riener, C. R., & Proffitt, D. R. (2007). Seeing beyond the target: An effect of environmental context on distance perception. Perception, 36, 1752-1768.

It is commonly assumed that perceived distance in full-cue, ecologically valid environments is redundantly specified and approximately veridical. However, recent research has called this assumption into question by demonstrating that distance perception varies in different types of environments even under full-cue viewing conditions. We report five experiments that demonstrate an effect of environmental context on perceived distance. We measured perceived distance in two types of environments (indoors and outdoors) with two types of measures (perceptual matching and blindwalking). We found effects of environmental context for both egocentric and exocentric distances. Across conditions, within individual experiments, all viewer-to-target depth-related variables were kept constant. The differences in perceived distance must therefore be explained by variations in the space beyond the target.

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