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Hayaki Banno, Jun Saiki; Calculation of the mean circle size does not circumvent the bottleneck of crowding. Journal of Vision 2012;12(11):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.11.13.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Visually, we can extract a statistical summary of sets of elements efficiently. However, our visual system has a severe limitation in that the ability to recognize an object is remarkably impaired when it is surrounded by other objects. The goal of this study was to investigate whether the crowding effect obstructs the calculation of the mean size of objects. First, we verified that the crowding effect occurs when comparing the sizes of circles (Experiment 1). Next, we manipulated the distances between circles and measured the sensitivity when circles were on or off the limitation of crowding (Experiment 2). Participants were asked to compare the mean sizes of the circles in the left and right visual fields and to judge which was larger. Participants' sensitivity to mean size difference was lower when the circles were located in the nearer distance. Finally, we confirmed that crowding is responsible for the observed results by showing that displays without a crowded object eliminated the effects (Experiment 3). Our results indicate that the statistical information of size does not circumvent the bottleneck of crowding.
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