Speed constancy or only slowness: What drives the kappa effect

Youguo Chen, Bangwu Zhang, Konrad Paul Kording

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the Kappa effect, two visual stimuli are given, and their spatial distance affects their perceived temporal interval. The classical model assumes constant speed while a competing Bayesian model assumes a slow speed prior. The two models are based on different assumptions about the statistical structure of the environment. Here we introduce a new visual experiment to distinguish between these models. When fit to the data, both the two models replicated human response, but the slowness model makes better behavioral predictions than the speed constancy model, and the estimated constant speed is close to the absolute threshold of speed. Our findings suggest that the Kappa effect appears to be due to slow speeds, and also modulated by spatial variance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0154013
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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