Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Does Energy Expenditure Affect the Perception of Egocentric Distance? A Failure to Replicate Experiment 1 of Proffitt, Stefanucci, Banton, and Epstein (2003)/Reply to Hutchison and Loomis/Reply to Proffitt, Stefanucci, Banton, and Epstein/A Final Reply to Hutchison and Loomis

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Does Energy Expenditure Affect the Perception of Egocentric Distance? A Failure to Replicate Experiment 1 of Proffitt, Stefanucci, Banton, and Epstein (2003)/Reply to Hutchison and Loomis/Reply to Proffitt, Stefanucci, Banton, and Epstein/A Final Reply to Hutchison and Loomis

Article excerpt

Jeffrey J. Hutchison and Jack M. Loomis

University of California

In a series of recent studies, Proffitt and his colleagues have reported that the perceived distance to a target is influenced by the energy expenditure associated with any action, such as walking or throwing, for spanning the distance to the target. In particular, Proffitt, Stefanucci, Banton, and Epstein (2003) reported that wearing a heavy backpack caused verbal reports of distance to increase. We conducted a study to determine whether three responses dependent on perceived distance (verbal report of distance, blind walking, and estimates of object size) are influenced by the backpack manipulation. In two experiments, one involving a between-participants design and the other involving a within-participants design, we found that none of the three responses were influenced by the wearing of a heavy backpack.

Keywords: distance perception, energy expenditure

En una serie reciente de trabajos, Proffitt y sus colegas informaron de que la distancia a la que se percibe una estimulación diana se ve afectada por el gasto de energía asociado a la realización de cualquier acción, como andar o lanzar un objeto, que pueda realizarse para cubrir la distancia hasta la estimulación diana. Concretamente, Proffitt, Stefanucci, Banton y Epstein (2003) afirmaron que llevar una mochila pesada hizo que se incrementasen los informes verbales sobre la distancia. Realizamos un estudio para verificar si tres respuestas que dependen de la distancia percibida (informe verbal de distancia, andar a ciegas y estimaciones del tamaño de un objeto) son afectadas por el uso de la mochila. En dos experimentos, uno con un diseño inter-participantes y el otro con un diseño intra-participantes, encontramos que ninguna de las tres respuestas era afectada por llevar una mochila pesada.

Palabras clave: percepción de la distancia, gasto de energía

In a series of recent papers, Proffitt and his colleagues have provided evidence that the visually perceived distance to a target is influenced both by the energy expenditure required to carry out an action spanning that distance and by the physiological state of the person (Bhalla & Proffitt, 1999; Proffitt, Bhalla, Gossweiler, & Midgett, 1995; Profitt, Stefanucci, Banton, & Epstein, 2003; Witt, Proffitt, & Epstein, 2004). In particular, Profitt et al. (2003) reported that observers, who wore a heavy backpack while judging the distance to a target with the expectation of having to walk to it while wearing the backpack, reported greater distances than participants who did not wear backpacks. These various results indicate that the energy expenditure1 of performing an action influences the perceived distance to be spanned by the action. In addition, these and other researchers (e.g., Creem-Regehr, Gooch, Sahm, & Thompson, 2004) argue that the representation of physical space is action specific. If throwing rather than walking is used to span the distance to the target, only energy expenditure manipulations that influence the intended action will affect the perceived distance.

The effect of energy expenditure on perceived egocentric distance, if true, is very important. The conventional view among space perception researchers has been that perceived visual space is a consciously experienced internal representation of physical space and that egocentric distance within it can be measured using a variety of different responses (e.g., Loomis & Knapp, 2003). According to this view, there are a number of converging measures of egocentric distance perception, some based on action and others not, that should all show the same effects of any manipulation predicted to alter perceived distance. Action based measures of perceived egocentric distance include ball throwing, blind walking, triangulation methods, and more recently a measure based on a response in 3-D space consisting of blind walking and a pointing gesture by the hand (Ooi, Wu, & He, 2001). …

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