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Sheng He, Yijun Ge, Zhouyuan Sun; Transformation from retinotopic to spatiotopic reference frame in the absence of awareness. Journal of Vision 2019;19(8):31. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.8.31.
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Despite the continuous movements of our eyes and body, our visual world remains stable. Key to this visual stability is the transformation of visual representation from the retinotopic to spatiotopic reference frame. Does this transformation require awareness of the visual inputs? We addressed this question using an adaptation paradigm, with the test stimulus presented either at the same retinotopic or spatiotopic location as the adapting stimulus. If an aftereffect could be observed at the spatiotopic location, then it would imply that the adapting stimulus had undergone retinotopic to spatiotopic transformation. Two forms of visual aftereffects were employed in this study: the Tilt Aftereffect (TAE) and Face Gender Aftereffect (FGAE). We first demonstrated that both aftereffects could be induced when the test stimulus was at the same spatiotopic but different retinotopic location as the adapting stimulus, suggesting that the representation of the adapting stimulus underwent the retinotopic to spatiotopic transformation. Critically, when the adapting stimulus was rendered invisible through interocular Continuous Flash Suppression, the TAE and FGAE could still be observed at the spatiotopic location. Our results suggest that, in the absence of awareness, both face and local orientation information could be transformed from retinotopic to spatiotopic reference frame.
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