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Taiyong Bi, Peng Cai, Tiangang Zhou, Fang Fang; The effect of crowding on orientation-selective adaptation in human early visual cortex. Journal of Vision 2009;9(11):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.11.13.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Crowding is the identification difficulty for a target in the presence of nearby flankers. Based on psychophysical findings, many theories have been proposed to explain crowding at multiple levels. However, little is known about its neural mechanism. In this study, we combined psychophysical and fMRI adaptation techniques to search for the cortical locus of crowding. In the psychophysical experiment, when subjects' attention was controlled, we found that the threshold elevation aftereffect (TEAE) was not affected by crowding, regardless of the contrast level of adapting stimulus. In the fMRI experiment, the orientation-selective fMRI adaptation in V1 was not affected by crowding either. However, downstream from V1, we found that crowding weakened the adaptation effect in V2 and V3. Our results demonstrate that crowding occurs beyond V1 and provide one of the first pieces of direct evidence supporting the two-stage model of crowding (D. M. Levi, 2008).
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