Research in the field of psychological aesthetics points to the appeal of stimuli which defy easy recognition by being “semantically unstable” but which still allow for creating meaning—in the ongoing process of elaborative perception or as an end product of the entire process. Such effects were reported for hidden images (Muth and Carbon, 2013) as well as Cubist artworks concealing detectable—although fragmented—objects (Muth et al., 2013). To test the stability of the relationship between semantic determinacy and appreciation across different episodic contexts, 30 volunteers evaluated an artistic movie continuously on visual determinacy or liking via the Continuous Evaluation Procedure (CEP, Muth et al., 2015b). The movie consisted of five episodes with emerging Gestalts. In the first between-participants condition, the hidden Gestalts in the movie episodes were of increasing determinacy, in the second condition, the episodes showed decreasing determinacies of hidden Gestalts. In the increasing-determinacy group, visual determinacy was rated higher and showed better predictive quality for liking than in the decreasing-determinacy group. Furthermore, when the movie started with low visual determinacy of hidden Gestalts, unexpectedly strong increases in visual determinacy had a bigger effect on liking than in the condition which allowed for weaker Gestalt recognition after having started with highly determinate Gestalts. The resulting pattern calls for consideration of the episodic context when examining art appreciation.
Sexual selection may have shaped male visual sensitivity to characteristics that provide information about female mate quality. Indeed, men judge certain facial and bodily configurations of women to be attractive, possibly because those configurations signal health and fertility. Most of this evidence derives from the study of women's facial and body photographs. We tested the hypothesis that attractive female dancers receive greater visual attention from men than do unattractive dancers. Twenty-nine men viewed video pairs of pre-categorized high and low attractive female dancers. Their eye gaze was tracked and they also provided ratings of attractiveness, femininity, and dance movement harmony. High attractive dancers received greater visual attention than did low attractive dancers and men's visual attention correlated positively with their judgments of attractiveness, femininity, and dance movement harmony. We discuss our findings in the context of the ‘beauty captures the mind of the beholder’ hypothesis and the role of dance movements in human mate selection.
Studies of several mammalian species confirm that formant frequencies (vocal tract resonances) predict height and weight better than does fundamental frequency (F0, perceived as pitch) in same-sex adults due to differential anatomical constraints. However, our recent meta-analysis (Pisanski et al., 2014, Animal Behaviour, 95, 89–99) indicated that formants and F0 could explain no more than 10% and 2% of the variance in human height, respectively, controlling for sex and age. Here, we examined whether other voice parameters, many of which are affected by sex hormones, can indicate additional variance in human body size or shape, and whether these relationships differ between the sexes. Using a cross-cultural sample of 700 men and women, we examined relationships among 19 voice parameters (minimum–maximum F0, mean F0, F0 variability, formant-based vocal tract length estimates, shimmer, jitter, harmonics-to-noise ratio) and eight indices of body size or shape (height, weight, body mass index, hip, waist and chest circumferences, waist-to-hip ratio, chest-to-hip ratio). Our results confirm that formant measures explain the most variance in heights and weights of men and women, whereas shimmer, jitter and harmonics-to-noise ratio do not indicate height, weight or body mass index in either sex. In contrast, these perturbation and noise parameters, in addition to F0 range and variability, explained more variance in body shape than did formants or mean F0, particularly among men. Shimmer or jitter explained the most variance in men's hip circumferences (12%) and chest-to-hip ratios (6%), whereas harmonics-to-noise ratio and formants explained the most variance in women's waist-to-hip ratios (11%), and significantly more than in men's waist-to-hip ratios. Our study represents the most comprehensive analysis of vocal indicators of human body size to date and offers a foundation for future research examining the hormonal mechanisms of voice production in humans and perceptual playback experiments.
Einleitung: Angehörige von Personen mit einer Störung durch Glücksspielen sind durch die Erkrankung häufig stark belastet. Bislang gibt es allerdings im deutschen Sprachraum kein Instrument, um diese Belastung adäquat zu erfassen. International wird der Short Questionnaire for Family Members – affected by addiction (SQFM-AA) genutzt, der auf dem Stress-Strain-Coping-Support-Modell aufbaut. Daher wird dieser Fragebogen als Kurzfragebogen für suchtbelastete Familienmitglieder SQFM-AA (Version Glücksspiel) adaptiert und getestet, um die Belastung Angehöriger erfassen zu können und internationale Vergleichbarkeit zu gewährleisten.
Methoden: Nach der Übersetzung und Rückübersetzung des Fragebogens wurde dieser einer Gelegenheitsstichprobe im Online-Setting vorgelegt. Es wurden zentrale deskriptive und psychometrische Kennwerte, Trennschärfe und interne Konsistenz berechnet. Die Faktorenstruktur wurde anhand einer explorativen Faktorenanalyse (Hauptachsenanalyse mit Varimax-Rotation) erhoben.
Ergebnisse: Die Daten von 122 betroffenen Angehörigen (87% weiblich; 67% Partner/-innen; 61% gemeinsamer Haushalt) gingen in die Auswertung ein. Die Trennschärfe liegt zwischen 0,30–0,94, Cronbachs Alpha bei 0,61–0,95. In der Faktorenanalyse werden durch eine 9-Faktoren-Lösung 69% der Varianz aufgeklärt.
Diskussion: Aufgrund des Vorgehens bei der Übersetzung kann von einer guten Vergleichbarkeit der deutschen Version mit dem Original ausgegangen werden. Die interne Konsistenz der einzelnen Skalen liegt in einem akzeptablen bis guten Bereich. Die ursprünglich 11 Unterskalen des SQFM-AA lassen sich in unserer Stichprobe nicht reproduzieren. Die aufgedeckten 9 Faktoren sind jedoch gut aus den theoretischen Vorüberlegungen ableitbar. 4 der Skalen bilden sich sehr gut ab, auf 3 weiteren Faktoren finden sich relevante Nebenladungen anderer Skalen. Bei den beiden verbleibenden Skalen lädt zudem eines der Items nicht auf den entsprechenden Faktor. Insgesamt lassen sich die Faktoren inhaltlich gut interpretieren. Durch eine Modifikation des Fragebogens ließen sich zwar einzelne Kennwerte verbessern, allerdings wäre dann eine internationale Vergleichbarkeit nicht mehr gegeben.
Schlussfolgerung: Mit der hier vorliegenden Adaptation lassen sich erstmalig die Erfahrungen von Angehörigen von Personen mit einer Störung durch Glücksspielen einheitlich erfassen und relevante Bereiche für Therapie und Beratung identifizieren.
The timing of perceptual decisions depends on both deterministic and stochastic factors, as the gradual accumulation of sensory evidence (deterministic) is contaminated by sensory and/or internal noise (stochastic). When human observers view multistable visual displays, successive episodes of stochastic accumulation culminate in repeated reversals of visual appearance. Treating reversal timing as a “first-passage time” problem, we ask how the observed timing densities constrain the underlying stochastic accumulation. Importantly, mean reversal times (i.e., deterministic factors) differ enormously between displays/observers/stimulation levels, whereas the variance and skewness of reversal times (i.e., stochastic factors) keep characteristic proportions of the mean. What sort of stochastic process could reproduce this highly consistent “scaling property?” Here we show that the collective activity of a finite population of bistable units (i.e., a generalized Ehrenfest process) quantitatively reproduces all aspects of the scaling property of multistable phenomena, in contrast to other processes under consideration (Poisson, Wiener, or Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process). The postulated units express the spontaneous dynamics of attractor assemblies transitioning between distinct activity states. Plausible candidates are cortical columns, or clusters of columns, as they are preferentially connected and spontaneously explore a restricted repertoire of activity states. Our findings suggests that perceptual representations are granular, probabilistic, and operate far from equilibrium, thereby offering a suitable substrate for statistical inference.
We investigated the relation between perception and sensory memory of multi-stable structure-from-motion displays. The latter is an implicit visual memory that reflects a recent history of perceptual dominance and influences only the initial perception of multi-stable displays. First, we established the earliest time point when the direction of an illusory rotation can be reversed after the display onset (29–114 ms). Because our display manipulation did not bias perception towards a specific direction of illusory rotation but only signaled the change in motion, this means that the perceptual dominance was established no later than 29–114 ms after the stimulus onset. Second, we used orientation-selectivity of sensory memory to establish which display orientation produced the strongest memory trace and when this orientation was presented during the preceding prime interval (80–140 ms). Surprisingly, both estimates point towards the time interval immediately after the display onset, indicating that both perception and sensory memory form at approximately the same time. This suggests a tighter integration between perception and sensory memory than previously thought, warrants a reconsideration of its role in visual perception, and indicates that sensory memory could be a unique behavioral correlate of the earlier perceptual inference that can be studied post hoc.
The folded paper-size illusion is as easy to demonstrate as it is powerful in generating insights into perceptual processing: First take two A4 sheets of paper, one original sized, another halved by folding, then compare them in terms of area size by centering the halved sheet on the center of the original one! We perceive the larger sheet as far less than double (i.e., 100%) the size of the small one, typically only being about two thirds larger—this illusion is preserved by rotating the inner sheet and even by aligning it to one or two sides, but is dissolved by aligning both sheets to three sides, here documented by 88 participants’ data. A potential explanation might be the general incapability of accurately comparing more than one geometrical dimension at once—in everyday life, we solve this perceptual-cognitive bottleneck by reducing the complexity of such a task via aligning parts with same lengths.