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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Jointly Perceiving Physics and Mind: Motion, force and intention

  • Author(s): Tang, Ning;
  • Gong, Siyi;
  • Liao, Ziqian;
  • Xu, Haokui;
  • Zhou, Jifan;
  • Shen, Mowei;
  • Gao, Tao
  • et al.

Physics and mind are two major causes of motion. In a leash-chasing display, a disc (“sheep") is being chased by another disc (“wolf"), which is physically constrained by a leash attached to a third disc (“master"). A number of interesting motions can emerge from this simple system, such as a wolf being dragged away from its target. Therefore, it is important for vision to jointly infer a physics-mind combination that can best explain the motions. Here we reported two discoveries from studying this display to support this theory. First, an intuitive physical system like a leash can greatly lessen the detrimental effects of spatial deviation and the diminishing objecthood on perceived chasing, strengthening its robustness. Second, a mutual dependency exists between physics and mind, where disrupting one will inevitably result in an impaired perception on the other. These results collectively support a joint perception of physics and mind.

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