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Perceiving Spatial Layout

We are investigating Berkeley’s (1709) notion that space is perceived in terms of effort. Our approach is to alter participants’ perceived effort for reaching a target and examine their resulting perception of the space. When judging the slant of a hill, participants who are encumbered, fatigued, or aging see the hill as being steeper than those in control conditions. Similarly, distance judgments increase when participants are encumbered by a heavy backpack, when the terrain becomes steeper, or after undergoing visual-motor recalibration on a treadmill. We are currently using natural and virtual environments to explore the scope of effort in mediating our perception of spatial layout.


Research
Questions
Is space perceived in terms of effort and intention in natural and virtual environments?

Researchers Becca Weast, Tom Banton, Cedar Riener, Jeanine Stefanucci, Jessica Witt

Collaborators Sarah Creem, Frank Durgin

Current
Experiments
Throwing on hills, effort for throwing, effect of mood on effort, effect of intention and changing intention, perception in a virtual environment, perception in near space

Publications Zadra, J.R., Weltman, A.L., & Proffitt, D.R. (2015). Walkable Distances Are Bioenergetically Scaled. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Advance online publication.
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Zadra, J. R., & Clore, G. L. (2011). Emotion and perception: the role of affective information. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 2(6), 676-685. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. doi:10.1002/wcs.147
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Riener, C. R., Stefanucci, J. K., Proffitt, D. R., & Clore, G. (2011). An effect of mood on the perception of geographical slant. Cognition & emotion, 25(1), 174-82. doi:10.1080/02699931003738026
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Linkenauger, S. A., Witt, J. K., and Proffitt, D. R. (2011). Taking a hands-on approach: Apparent grasping ability scales the perception of object size. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37(5) 1432-1441.
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Lee C, Linkenauger SA, Bakdash JZ, Joy-Gaba JA, Profitt DR (2011) Putting Like a Pro: The Role of Positive Contagion in Golf Performance and Perception. PLoS ONE 6(10): e26016. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026016
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Witt, J. K., Proffitt, D. R., & Epstein, W. (2010). When and how are spatial perceptions scaled? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36(5), 1153-1160. doi: 10.1037/a0019947.
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Schnall, S., Zadra, J. R., & Proffitt, D. R. (2010). Direct evidence for the economy of action: Glucose and the perception of geographical slant. Perception, 39(4), 464-482. doi: 10.1068/p6445.
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Proffitt, D. R., & Zadra, J. R. (2010). Explicit and motoric dependent measures of geographical slant are dissociable: A reassessment of the findings of Durgin, Hajnal, Li, Tonge, and Stigliani (2010). Acta psychologica, 4-7. Elsevier B.V. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.06.003
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Stefanucci, J. K., & Proffitt, D. R. (2009). The roles of altitude and fear in the perception of height. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 35(2), 424-38. doi: 10.1037/a0013894.
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Proffitt, D. R. (2009). Affordances matter in geographical slant perception. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 16(5), 970-2. doi: 10.3758/PBR.16.5.970.
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Linkenauger, S. a, Witt, J. K., Stefanucci, J. K., Bakdash, J. Z., & Proffitt, D. R. (2009). The effects of handedness and reachability on perceived distance. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 35(6), 1649-60. doi: 10.1037/a0016875.
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Linkenauger, S. A., Witt, J. K., Bakdash, J. Z., Stefanucci, J. K., & Proffitt, D. R. (2009). Asymmetrical body perception: A possible role for neural body representations. Psychological Science, 20(11), 1373.
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Lessard, D. A., Linkenauger, S. A., & Proffitt, D. R. (2009). Look before you leap: Jumping ability affects distance perception. Perception, 38(12), 1863-1866. doi: 10.1068/p6509.
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Witt, J.K., Linkenauger, S.A., Bakdash, J.Z., Proffitt, D.R. (2008) Putting to a bigger hole: Golf performance relates to perceived size. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 15(3).
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Witt, J., Linkenauger, S., Bakdash, J., Augustyn, J., Cook, A., & Proffitt, D. (2008). The long road of pain: chronic pain increases perceived distance. Experimental Brain Research.
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Witt, J. K., & Proffitt, D. R. (2008). Action-specific influences on distance perception: a role for motor simulation. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 34(6), 1479-92. doi: 10.1037/a0010781.
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Teachman, B. A., Stefanucci, J. K., Clerkin, E. M., Cody, M. W., & Proffitt, D. R. (2008). A new mode of fear expression: Perceptual bias in height fear. Emotion, 8, 296-301.
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Stefanucci, J. K., Proffitt, D. R., Clore, G., & Parekh, N. (2008). Skating down a steeper slope: Fear influences the perception of geographical slant. Perception, 37, 321-323.
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Schnall, S., Harber, K. D., Stefanucci, J. K., & Proffitt, D. R. (2008). Social support and the perception of geographical slant. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1246-1255.
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Proffitt, D. R. (2008). An Action Specific Approach to Spatial Perception. In R. L. Klatzky, B. MacWhinney & M. Behrmann (Eds.), Embodiment, Ego-Space, and Action. New York: Psychology Press.
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Bakdash, J.Z., Linkenauger, S.A., and, Proffitt, D.R. (2008). Comparing decision-making vs. control for learning a virtual environment: Backseat drivers learn where they are going. In Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2008 Conference Proceedings.
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Witt, J.K., & Proffitt, D.R. (2007). Perceived slant: A dissociation between perception and action. Perception, 36, 249-257.
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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.
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Proffitt, D.R. (2006). Embodied perception and the economy of action. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(2), 110-122.
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Proffitt, D.R. (2006). Distance perception. Current Directions in Psychological Research, 15, 131-135.
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Bakdash, J. Z., Augustyn, J. S., and Proffitt, D. R. (2006). Large displays enhance spatial knowledge of a virtual environment. In ACM Siggraph Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization, 59-62.
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Witt, J.K., Proffitt, D.R., & Epstein, W. (2005). Tool use affects perceived distance but only when you intend to use it. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 31, 880-888.
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Witt, J.K., & Proffitt, D.R. (2005). See the ball, hit the ball: Apparent ball size is correlated with batting average. Psychological Science, 16(12), 937-938.
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Stefanucci, J., Proffitt, D., Banton, T., & Epstein, W. (2005). Distances appear different on hills. Perception & Psychophysics, 67(6), 1052-1060.
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Witt, J.K., Proffitt, D.R., & Epstein, W. (2004). Perceiving distance: A role of effort and intent. Perception, 33, 570-590.
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Proffitt, D.R., Stefanucci, J., Banton, T., & Epstein, W. (2003). The role of effort in perceiving distance. Psychological Science.
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Proffitt, D. R. & Caudek, C. (2002). Depth perception and perception of events. In A. F. Healy and R. W. Proctor (Eds.). Comprehensive handbook of psychology, volume 4: Experimental psychology. NY: Wiley.
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Dixon, M. W. & Proffitt, D. R. (2002). Overestimation of heights in virtual reality is influenced more by perceived distal size than by the 2-D versus 3-D dimensionality of the display. Perception, 31, 103-112.
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Proffitt, D. R., Creem, S. H. & Zosh, W. (2001). Seeing mountains in mole hills: Geographical slant perception. Psychological Science, 12, 418-423.
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Creem,S. H., Wraga, M., & Proffitt, D.R. (2001). Imagining physically impossible self-rotations: Geometry is more important than gravity. Cognition, 81,41-64.
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Creem, S. H., & Proffitt, D. R. (2001). Grasping objects by their handles: A necessary interaction between cognition and action. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27, 218-228.
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Creem, S. H., Downs, T. H., Wraga, M., Harrington, G. S., Proffitt, D. R. & Downs, III, J. H. ( 2001). An fMRI study of imagined self-rotation. Journal of Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 1, 239-249.
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Carpenter, M. & Proffitt, D. R. (2001). Comparing viewer and array mental rotations in different planes. Memory & Cognition, 29, 441-448.
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Wraga, M., Creem, S. H., & Proffitt, D. R. (2000). Perception-action dissociations of a walkable Muller-Lyer configuration. Psychological Science, 11, 239-243.
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Wraga, M. & Proffitt, D.R. (2000). Mapping the zone of eye height utility for seated and standing observers. Perception, 29, 1361-1383.
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Dixon, M. W, Wraga, M, Proffitt, D. R., Williams, G. C. (2000). Eye height scaling of absolute size in immersive and nonimmersive displays. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. 26(2), 582-593.
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Bhalla, M., & Proffitt, D.R. (2000). Geographical slant perception: Dissociation and coordination between explicit awareness and visually guided actions. In Y. Rossetti and A. Revonsuo (Eds.), Dissociation but Interaction between Nonconscious and Conscious Processing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
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Proffitt, D., & Banton, T. (1999). Perceived depth is enhanced with parallax scanning.: Technical report for Vision III Imaging.

Proffitt, D. R. (1999). Perception: Ecological versus Inferential Approaches. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.). The concept of cognition. Cambridge: MIT Press.
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Bhalla, M., & Proffitt, D. R. (1999). Visual-Motor recalibration in geographical slant perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. 25(4), 1076-1096.
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Creem, S.H., & Proffitt, D.R. (1998). Two memories for geographical slant: Separation and interdependence of action and awareness. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 5, 22-36.
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Proffitt, D. R., Bhalla, M., Gossweiler, R., & Midgett, J. (1995). Perceiving geographical slant. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2(4), 409-428.
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