Perception: ECVP 2002 abstracts

ECVP 2002 abstract

Colour perception in the sensorimotor contingency theory
A Bompas, J J Clark¶, J K O'Regan (Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale, CNRS, Université René Descartes, 71 avenue Edouard Vaillant, F 92774 Boulogne-Bilancourt, France, ¶ Centre for Intelligent Machines, McGill University, 3480 University Street, Montréal, Québec H3A 2A7, Canada; e-mail:

The sensorimotor contingency theory hypothesises that our experience of a rich, colourful, environment derives not simply from the information originating from sensory input channels, but also from the laws that these signals obey when the observer or the stimulus move. In one experiment, subjects are shown a coloured bar, which either moves outward from the fovea, or inward from the periphery. If the stimulus changes colour on stopping, subjects generally see it as being the same colour as they previously saw in central vision, confirming that our perception of colour is affected by prior visual exploration. A second test of the theory concerns the impli- cation that modifications of sensorimotor laws must result in changes in subjective experience, with these changes being stronger when the observer is active in sensory exploration. We present results from an experiment where we adapted subjects to new sensorimotor laws between colour and eye movements. During an adaptation phase, subjects pursue a figure on a screen. Figure or screen colours are modified depending on gaze direction. Tests of position-dependent colour judgments before and after the adaptation phase demonstrate effects of the adaptation.

© 2002 Pion Ltd