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Sensorimotor Adaptation in Colour


Bompas,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bompas, A. (2006). Sensorimotor Adaptation in Colour. Poster presented at 9th Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK 2006), Tübingen, Germany.

^Sensorimotor adaptation can be defined as a perceptual adaptation whose effects depend on the occurrence and nature of the performed motor actions. Examples of sensorimotor adaptation can be found in the literature on prisms. This literature has contributed to establish the role of action in the perception of space-related attributes like orientation, curvature, size or depth and it is now common to think that space perception involves adaptable sensorimotor mechanisms. On the other hand, until recently, the influence of action on color perception had never been successfully addressed experimentally. In a series of experiments, Bompas O’Regan (2006a, b) showed that sensorimotor adaptation could be easily obtained for color, as a consequence of the introduction of a new sensorimotor contingency between eye movements and color changes. In an adaptation phase, trials involved the successive presentation of a red patch on the left and a green patch on the right. This adaptation stage introduces a correlation between left-right (respectively right-left) eye saccades and red-green (respectively green-red) color change. Perceptual consequences of this adaptation can be measured thanks to a test stage, performed before and after the adaptation. Schematically, the results show that, after 40 minutes of adaptation, when two yellow patches are successively presented on each side of the screen, the left patch needs to be reddish and the right patch greenish for subjective equality to be obtained. Similar sensorimotor adaptation has also been shown for blue-yellow and luminance variations. The dependency of the effect to the properties of the eye saccade (departure position, size and orientation) has now been characterized. These results constitute clear evidence for a role of experience and eye movements in perceived color and argue for the involvement in color perception of mechanisms continuously tuned to sensorimotor contingencies. The relation of these experimental findings towards a sensorimotor theory of color perception will be discussed.