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Laura Fademrecht, Isabelle Bülthoff, Stephan de la Rosa; Influence of eccentricity on action recognition. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1006. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1006.
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The recognition of actions is critical for human social functioning and provides insight into both the active and the inner states (e.g. valence) of another person. Although actions often appear in the visual periphery little is known about action recognition beyond foveal vision. Related previous research showed that object recognition and object valence (i.e. positive or negative valence) judgments are relatively unaffected by presentations up to 13Â° visual angle (VA) (Calvo et al. 2010). This is somewhat surprising given that recognition performance of words and letters sharply decline in the visual periphery. Here participants recognized an action and evaluated its valence as a function of eccentricity. We used a large screen display that allowed presentation of stimuli over a visual field from -60 to +60Â° VA. A life-size stick figure avatar carried out one of six motion captured actions (3 positive actions: handshake, hugging, waving; 3 negative actions: slapping, punching and kicking). 15 participants assessed the valence of the action (positive or negative action) and another 15 participants identified the action (as fast and as accurately as possible). We found that reaction times increased with eccentricity to a similar degree for the valence and the recognition task. In contrast, accuracy performance declined significantly with eccentricity for both tasks but declined more sharply for the action recognition task. These declines were observed for eccentricities larger than 15Â° VA. Thus, we replicate the findings of Calvo et al. (2010) that recognition is little affected by extra-foveal presentations smaller than 15Â° VA. Yet, we additionally demonstrate that visual recognition performance of actions declined significantly at larger eccentricities. We conclude that large eccentricities are required to assess the effect of peripheral presentation on visual recognition.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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