The Unstable Towers Task

Mitko, A. & Fischer, J. (2020). When it All Falls Down: The relationship between intuitive physics and spatial cognition. Cognitive Research: Principles & Implications. 

Each 6-second movie depicts a block tower that is unstable and ready to topple. Movies show 360-degree camera pans around the towers to give views of all sides of the towers, and participants are asked to judge whether more blocks will land on the gray or white side of the platform after the tower falls. The difficulty has been calibrated to capture reliable individual differences in prediction performance. This task is adapted from one introduced by: Battaglia, P.W., Hamrick, J.B., & Tenenbaum, J.B. (2013) Simulation as an engine of physical scene understanding.PNAS 110(45) 18327-18332.


Objects rated on physical properties

Guo, L., Courtney, S. M., & Fischer, J. (2020). Knowledge of objects’ physical properties implicitly guides attention during visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Participants are asked to locate a specified target among arrays of everyday objects. The target is sometimes differentiated from the distractors based on its hardness, while a host of other visual and semantic attributes are controlled.