The kappa effect is a spatiotemporal illusion where duration is overestimated with the increase of space. This effect is typically demonstrated with three successive stimuli marking two neighboring empty time intervals, and the classical imputed velocity model, in principle, does not help to predict any spatial effects when only two stimuli, marking single intervals, are presented on each trial. We thus conducted three experiments, examining requirements for the occurrence of the kappa effect with only two visual stimuli. An interstimulus interval between the two stimuli was 217 (short) or 283 ms (long), and participants categorized the presented interval as 'short' or 'long'. The key finding is that participants tended to respond 'short' more frequently than 'long' when both stimuli were delivered from the same location, whereas the relative frequency of 'long' responses was increased when the two stimuli were delivered from different locations in most directions (i.e., horizontally, vertically, diagonally; Experiment 1). This kappa effect clearly occurred when each stimulus was located 8° apart from the fovea in visual angle, but it was reduced when each stimulus was further deviated from the fovea, regardless of whether the two stimuli were presented in the vertical or the horizontal direction (Experiments 2 and 3). Moreover, increasing the spatial distance between the two stimuli from 15 to 30 cm magnified the effect only in a limited condition (Experiment 3). Implications of these results were discussed in terms of the Bayesian model predicting the effects of spatial acuity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems
- Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
- Cognitive Neuroscience