September 2019
Volume 19, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2019
Offline transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can improve the ability to perceive crowded targets
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Guanpeng Chen
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health
    Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences
    Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education)
    PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Ziyun Zhu
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health
    Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences
    Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education)
    PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Fang Fang
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health
    Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences
    Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education)
    PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing, China
Journal of Vision September 2019, Vol.19, 65a. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.65a
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Guanpeng Chen, Ziyun Zhu, Fang Fang; Offline transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can improve the ability to perceive crowded targets. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):65a. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.65a.

      Download citation file:


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

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

The deleterious influence of nearby flankers on target identification in the periphery is often referred to as visual crowding. Studying visual crowding can advance our understanding of the mechanisms of visual awareness and object recognition. Alleviating visual crowding (e.g., through perceptual learning) is one of the major ways to improve peripheral vision. Although there is a rapidly growing interest in using tDCS to modulate visual perception in humans, it remains unknown whether tDCS can alleviate visual crowding effects. We performed three experiments to investigate this issue. In Experiment 1, subjects were asked to perform an orientation discrimination task with the isolated and crowded targets in the periphery, before and after applying 20 minutes of 2 mA anodal tDCS to early visual cortex (P1 or P2) of the hemisphere contralateral or ipsilateral to the visual stimuli. We found that, electrical stimulation of the hemisphere contralateral to the visual stimuli could significantly reduce the crowding effect. This reduction was absent after the sham stimulation and could not be explained by the performance improvement with the isolated target. In Experiment 2, using the same behavioral task and the same tDCS protocol, we found that the contralateral DC stimulation remained effective in alleviating crowding at a smaller eccentricity. In Experiment 3, we adopted a letter recognition task and found that the alleviation of the letter crowding effect still existed after tDCS. In all the three experiments, no reduction was observed when tDCS was applied to the hemisphere ipsilateral to the visual stimuli. Taken together, we conclude that offline tDCS is effective in alleviating visual crowding across different visual eccentricities and perceptual tasks, which sheds new light on the mechanisms of visual crowding and possible practical applications.

×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×