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Fazilet Zeynep Yildirim, Daniel R. Coates, Bilge Sayim; Atypical visual field asymmetries in redundancy masking. Journal of Vision 2022;22(5):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.5.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Redundancy masking is the reduction of the perceived number of items in repeating patterns. It shares a number of characteristics with crowding, the impairment of target identification in visual clutter. Crowding strongly depends on the location of the target in the visual field. For example, it is stronger in the upper compared to the lower visual field and is usually weakest on the horizontal meridian. This pattern of visual field asymmetries is common in spatial vision, as revealed by tasks measuring, for example, spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. Here, to characterize redundancy masking and reveal its similarities to and differences from other spatial tasks, we investigated whether redundancy masking shows the same typical visual field asymmetries. Observers were presented with three to six radially arranged lines at 10° eccentricity at one of eight locations around fixation and were asked to report the number of lines. We found asymmetries that differed pronouncedly from those found in crowding. Redundancy masking did not differ between upper and lower visual fields. Importantly, redundancy masking was stronger on the horizontal meridian than on the vertical meridian, the opposite of what is usually found in crowding. These results show that redundancy masking diverges from crowding in regard to visual field asymmetries, suggesting different underlying mechanisms of redundancy masking and crowding. We suggest that the observed atypical visual field asymmetries in redundancy masking are due to the superior extraction of regularity and a more pronounced compression of visual space on the horizontal compared to the vertical meridian.
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