Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Newly learned shape-color associations show signatures of reliability-weighted averaging without forced fusion or a memory color effect

Lookup NU author(s): Stacey Aston, Cat Pattie, Heather Slater



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Reliability-weighted averaging of multiple perceptual estimates (or cues) can improve precision. Research suggests that newly learned statistical associations can be rapidly integrated in this way for efficient decision-making. Yet, it remains unclear if the integration of newly learned statistics into decision-making can directly influence perception, rather than taking place only at the decision stage. In two experiments, we implicitly taught observers novel associations between shape and color. Observers made color matches by adjusting the color of an oval to match a simultaneously presented reference. As the color of the oval changed across trials, so did its shape according to a novel mapping of axis ratio to color. Observers showed signatures of reliability-weighted averaging-a precision improvement in both experiments and reweighting of the newly learned shape cue with changes in uncertainty in Experiment 2. To ask whether this was accompanied by perceptual effects, Experiment 1 tested for forced fusion by measuring color discrimination thresholds with and without incongruent novel cues. Experiment 2 tested for a memory color effect, observers adjusting the color of ovals with different axis ratios until they appeared gray. There was no evidence for forced fusion and the opposite of a memory color effect. Overall, our results suggest that the ability to quickly learn novel cues and integrate them with familiar cues is not immediately (within the short duration of our experiments and in the domain of color and shape) accompanied by common perceptual effects.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aston S, Pattie C, Graham R, Slater H, Beierholm U, Nardini M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Vision

Year: 2022

Volume: 22

Issue: 13

Online publication date: 29/12/2022

Acceptance date: 18/02/2022

Date deposited: 10/01/2023

ISSN (electronic): 1534-7362

Publisher: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology


DOI: 10.1167/jov.22.13.8

PubMed id: 36580296


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name