September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
The fovea is essential for peripheral vision: The effect of foveal distractors on extra-foveal perception
Author Affiliations
  • Kimberly Weldon
    Perception in Action Research Centre (PARC) & Department of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University
  • Alexandra Woolgar
    Perception in Action Research Centre (PARC) & Department of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University
  • Anina Rich
    Perception in Action Research Centre (PARC) & Department of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University
  • Mark Williams
    Perception in Action Research Centre (PARC) & Department of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 609. doi:10.1167/15.12.609
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      Kimberly Weldon, Alexandra Woolgar, Anina Rich, Mark Williams; The fovea is essential for peripheral vision: The effect of foveal distractors on extra-foveal perception. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):609. doi: 10.1167/15.12.609.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Neuroimaging evidence indicates that visual information about objects in the periphery is fed back to foveal retinotopic cortex in a new and separate representation. Additionally, delayed disruption of foveal confluence via transcranical magnetic stimulation impairs discrimination of objects in the periphery, suggesting this feedback mechanism is essential for extra-foveal perception. In this study, we developed a behavioural paradigm to further explore the nature of this feedback mechanism and provide a behavioural measure. Participants performed a discrimination task on objects in the periphery while fixating centrally. A visual distractor presented at the fovea 100ms after presentation of the peripheral stimulus disrupted perceptual discrimination more than visual distractors presented at other stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). In a control experiment, a visual distractor presented elsewhere in the periphery at the same SOAs did not impair behavioural performance. These results corroborate previous research showing foveal retinotopic cortex is essential for extra-foveal perception. This study also demonstrates a new paradigm for investigating the nature of the foveal feedback phenomenon.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015

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