Observers viewed visual stimuli in which one object moved to a position of partial occlusion by another. The objects were presented as two-dimensional profiles moving in an undefined space, so the partial occlusion supports several different physical interpretations. In fact some stimuli reliably gave rise to a perceptual impression that the moving object penetrated or pierced the stationary one. This kind of interaction impression has not previously been reported. The impression was maximized by rapid deceleration to a halt with minimal occlusion. If the object decelerated more slowly, so that it was completely occluded or projected from the far side of the stationary object, it was perceived as moving behind the stationary object. The shape of the moving object and its speed prior to occlusion had significant but small effects.
- PERCEIVED CAUSALITY