Eye movement targets are released from visual crowding

Harrison, William J., Mattingley, Jason B. and Remington, Roger W. (2013) Eye movement targets are released from visual crowding. Journal of Neuroscience, 33 7: 2927-2933. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4172-12.2013

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Author Harrison, William J.
Mattingley, Jason B.
Remington, Roger W.
Title Eye movement targets are released from visual crowding
Journal name Journal of Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0270-6474
Publication date 2013-02-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4172-12.2013
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 33
Issue 7
Start page 2927
End page 2933
Total pages 7
Place of publication Washington, United States
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Language eng
Abstract Our ability to recognize objects in peripheral vision is impaired when other objects are nearby (Bouma, 1970). This phenomenon, known as crowding, is often linked to interactions in early visual processing that depend primarily on the retinal position of visual stimuli (Pelli, 2008; Pelli and Tillman, 2008). Here we tested a new account that suggests crowding is influenced by spatial information derived from an extraretinal signal involved in eye movement preparation. We had human observers execute eye movements to crowded targets and measured their ability to identify those targets just before the eyes began to move. Beginning ~50 ms before a saccade toward a crowded object, we found that not only was there a dramatic reduction in the magnitude of crowding, but the spatial area within which crowding occurred was almost halved. These changes in crowding occurred despite no change in the retinal position of target or flanking stimuli. Contrary to the notion that crowding depends on retinal signals alone, our findings reveal an important role for eye movement signals. Eye movement preparation effectively enhances object discrimination in peripheral vision at the goal of the intended saccade. These presaccadic changes may enable enhanced recognition of visual objects in the periphery during active search of visually cluttered environments.
Keyword Covert Spatial Attention
Object Recognition
Psychophysics Toolbox
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP0666772
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 36 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 37 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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