ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (6): 595-603.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00595

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The influence of uncertainty and validity of expectation on the perceptual decision of motion direction

PAN Yuean1, JIANG Yunpeng1,2,3, GUO Maojie1, WU Xia1,2,3,4()   

  1. 1Faculty of Psychology, Tianjin Normal University
    2Key Research Base of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education, Academy of Psychology and Behavior
    3Tianjin Social Science Laboratory of Students’ Mental Development and Learning, Tianjin 300387, China
    4Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-05-02 Online:2022-04-26
  • Contact: WU Xia
  • Supported by:
    China Postdoctoral Science Foundation(2021m693377)


Motion stimuli in the environment are often changeable, and better direction perception needs to rely on both current information and prior information. However, it is not clear how the uncertainty of current stimuli and the expected validity of prior cues are integrated in the decision-making of motion direction perception. The research adopted the random dot motion paradigm, which requires the participants to judge the overall motion direction of the dots. The dots with the same direction are coherent dots, and the lower the proportion, the higher the uncertainty. Experiment 1 compared the perception accuracy under different coherence dots ratios. According to the results of Experiment 1, 20% and 60% of coherent dots are selected to correspond to the high and low uncertainty levels of scattered dots in Experiment 2, respectively. Experiment 2 compared the perception accuracy under high and low uncertainty and high and low expectation validity (the probability that cues correctly predict targets). The results showed that with the decrease of uncertainty and the increase of expectation validity, the perception accuracy was significantly improved; the expectation effect (the difference of perception accuracy between high and low validity) increased with the increase of uncertainty. The results prove that prior information and sensory information can be integrated in motion direction perception decision. The research provides empirical support for the viewpoint that predictive and reactive control work together under the dual mechanisms of control (DMC) theory, and also provides theoretical basis for the explanation and prevention of traffic accidents.

Key words: expectation effect, uncertainty, directional perceptual decision, RDPs, cognitive control