A Unifying Model of Orientation Crowding in Peripheral Vision

Harrison, William J. and Bex, Peter J. (2015) A Unifying Model of Orientation Crowding in Peripheral Vision. Current Biology, 25 24: 3213-3219. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.10.052


Author Harrison, William J.
Bex, Peter J.
Title A Unifying Model of Orientation Crowding in Peripheral Vision
Journal name Current Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0960-9822
1879-0445
Publication date 2015-12-21
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2015.10.052
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 25
Issue 24
Start page 3213
End page 3219
Total pages 7
Place of publication Cambridge, MA, United States
Publisher Cell Press
Language eng
Subject 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Peripheral vision is fundamentally limited not by the visibility of features, but by the spacing between them [1]. When too close together, visual features can become "crowded" and perceptually indistinguishable. Crowding interferes with basic tasks such as letter and face identification and thus informs our understanding of object recognition breakdown in peripheral vision [2]. Multiple proposals have attempted to explain crowding [3], and each is supported by compelling psychophysical and neuroimaging data [4-6] that are incompatible with competing proposals. In general, perceptual failures have variously been attributed to the averaging of nearby visual signals [7-10], confusion between target and distractor elements [11, 12], and a limited resolution of visual spatial attention [13]. Here we introduce a psychophysical paradigm that allows systematic study of crowded perception within the orientation domain, and we present a unifying computational model of crowding phenomena that reconciles conflicting explanations. Our results show that our single measure produces a variety of perceptual errors that are reported across the crowding literature. Critically, a simple model of the responses of populations of orientation-selective visual neurons accurately predicts all perceptual errors. We thus provide a unifying mechanistic explanation for orientation crowding in peripheral vision. Our simple model accounts for several perceptual phenomena produced by crowding of orientation and raises the possibility that multiple classes of object recognition failures in peripheral vision can be accounted for by a single mechanism.
Formatted abstract
Peripheral vision is fundamentally limited not by the visibility of features, but by the spacing between them [1]. When too close together, visual features can become “crowded” and perceptually indistinguishable. Crowding interferes with basic tasks such as letter and face identification and thus informs our understanding of object recognition breakdown in peripheral vision [2]. Multiple proposals have attempted to explain crowding [3], and each is supported by compelling psychophysical and neuroimaging data [4, 5 and 6] that are incompatible with competing proposals. In general, perceptual failures have variously been attributed to the averaging of nearby visual signals [7, 8, 9 and 10], confusion between target and distractor elements [11 and 12], and a limited resolution of visual spatial attention [13]. Here we introduce a psychophysical paradigm that allows systematic study of crowded perception within the orientation domain, and we present a unifying computational model of crowding phenomena that reconciles conflicting explanations. Our results show that our single measure produces a variety of perceptual errors that are reported across the crowding literature. Critically, a simple model of the responses of populations of orientation-selective visual neurons accurately predicts all perceptual errors. We thus provide a unifying mechanistic explanation for orientation crowding in peripheral vision. Our simple model accounts for several perceptual phenomena produced by crowding of orientation and raises the possibility that multiple classes of object recognition failures in peripheral vision can be accounted for by a single mechanism.
Keyword Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Cell Biology
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Cell Biology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID R01EY021553
APP1091257
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 22 Dec 2015, 18:37:38 EST by Susan Day on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service