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What mimes interacting with invisible objects says about visual perception

Johns Hopkins University
Perception & Mind Laboratory
the "Kanizsa triangle"
New York University
Psychological Science
the Ars Orbital Transmission
CNMN Collection WIRED Media Group
Condé Nast

Jennifer Ouellette

Chaz Firestone
Gaetano Kanizsa
Patrick C. Little


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Kanizsa square

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Positivity     38.00%   
   Negativity   62.00%
The New York Times
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(A recent study found that, like humans, cats are susceptible to the Kanizsa square illusion, suggesting that they perceive subjective contours much like humans.)The mime project combines those two questions, and Firestone recruited one of his undergraduates, co-author Patrick C. According to Firestone, people also can't help recognizing an object being mimed, even when there is no physical object present—another example of how the brain fills in the gaps in our perception.Firestone and Little conducted three versions of their online experiment, involving 360 participants. Subjects were instructed beforehand not to pay attention to the miming, then were told to indicate the orientation of the black lines when the lines appeared.Firestone and Little found that their subjects responded much faster when the black line's orientation matched the orientation of the mimed surface. "People are responding faster to a vertical line because that's the orientation of the wall that they're inferring," said Firestone.But what if the subjects were responding to the vertical position of the actor? "Very quickly people realize that the mime is misleading them, and that there is no actual connection between what the person does and the type of line that appears," said Little.

As said here by Jennifer Ouellette