The Material-weight Illusion Induced by Expectations Alone
Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics
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In the material-weight illusion (MWI), equally weighted objects that appear to be made from different materials are incorrectly perceived as having different weights when they are lifted one after the other. Here, we show that continuous visual experience of the lift is not a prerequisite for this compelling misperception of weight; merely priming the lifters' expectations of heaviness is sufficient for them to experience a robust MWI. Furthermore, these expectations continued to influence the load force used to lift MWI-inducing stimuli trial after trial, supporting the notion that vision plays an important role in the skillful lifting of objects.