Abstract

To investigate how embodied sensorimotor interactions shape subjective visual experience, we developed a novel naturalistic Virtual Reality setting combined with motion tracking that allow object interactions with a high degree of freedom, which we implemented within an adapted breaking continuous flash suppression (bCFS) paradigm. This setup allowed us to manipulate the sensorimotor contingencies governing interactions with virtual objects, while characterising the effects on subjective visual experience by measuring breakthrough time to awareness of the virtual objects. We found that breakthrough times were faster for live compared to replayed sensorimotor interactions, demonstrating that visual awareness for unfamiliar 3D virtual objects is influenced by the contingency of the dynamic causal coupling between a person’s actions and their visual consequences, in line with theories of perception that emphasise the influence of sensorimotor contingencies on visual experience.

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