December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Meta-awareness of anisotropic processing of visual information across the visual field.
Author Affiliations
  • Devi Klein
    UCSB, graduate student
  • Miguel P. Eckstein
    UCSB, Faculty
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 4347. doi:
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      Devi Klein, Miguel P. Eckstein; Meta-awareness of anisotropic processing of visual information across the visual field.. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):4347.

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

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Introduction: During the search, our ability to find the target depends on the detectability of the target relative to our fixation point (retinal eccentricity). While much research to date focuses on the bottom-up versus top-down visual processing dichotomy in search, little work has focused on the observer's meta-awareness concerning their ability to detect the target at different retinal eccentricities. This meta-awareness of peripheral detectability can mediate an observers' beliefs of the accuracy gains from eye movement exploration during search and influence termination of search (e.g., Lago et al., 2021). We investigated the observers' perceived detectability of small targets in the visual periphery. We assessed whether the observers are aware of vertical/horizontal anisotropies in target detectability (higher detectability in the horizontal direction vs. vertical eccentricities). Methods: Four observers estimated their ability to detect a target in the visual periphery along the four cardinal directions. The estimation task required them to maintain fixation on a small target placed at the center of the screen embedded in 1/f2.8 background noise while simultaneously moving a fiduciary mark radially in one of the four cardinal directions. They placed the fiduciary mark at a retinal eccentricity that the observer deemed would result in one of five percent correct detection (50%, 60%,70%, 80%, 90%, randomized across trials) in a yes/no detection task at that given eccentricity. Results: A two-way repeated-measure ANOVA demonstrated a significant interaction between direction and proportion correct threshold. We found the left and the right retinal eccentricity estimates further in the visual periphery relative to the upward and downward estimates at all proportion correct thresholds except for 90% (p < .05, FDR correction). Conclusion: observers are aware of their ability to detect a small target in the left and right peripheral visual fields better than in the upper and lower visual fields.


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