August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
Exploring perceptual sensitivity and response bias in the visual periphery
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joseph Pruitt
    University of Florida
  • Trevor Caruso
    University of Florida
  • Brian Odegaard
    University of Florida
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This work is currently funded by an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award to Dr. Odegaard (N000142212534).
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 5668. doi:
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      Joseph Pruitt, Trevor Caruso, Brian Odegaard; Exploring perceptual sensitivity and response bias in the visual periphery. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):5668.

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

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How well do we perceive objects in the visual periphery? Debates over the richness or sparseness of peripheral vision have attempted to answer this question, yet it remains unresolved. The theory of “subjective inflation” posits that specific metacognitive and perceptual biases may cause individuals to think they see more of the periphery than they really do, but results which speak to this phenomenon are limited to only a few empirical investigations. Here, we systematically probe how perceptual sensitivity and response bias change with increasing eccentricity in the visual periphery. In our experiment, participants completed a visual detection task where on every trial, they had to judge whether a signal (Gabor) or a noise stimulus was present, and rate their confidence in their response. Stimuli varied in terms of eccentricity (+/- 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40 visual degrees) and whether they were preceded by an attentional cue (either no-cue or pre-cue). We hypothesized that subjects may exhibit liberal criteria across peripheral locations in the uncued condition (Solovey, Graney, and Lau 2015), but conservative or unbiased criteria in the cued condition (Rahnev et al. 2011). Preliminary results showed that, as expected, sensitivity declined with increasing eccentricity in both attention conditions. Interestingly, response criteria were quite stable across eccentricities (except for the most eccentric position), and failed to show differences between pre-cued and non-cued trials. These results indicate that when the same stimulus is used across all eccentric locations, inflation-like effects may be limited. We will discuss the relevance of these stimulus-matched results within the context of paradigms which use performance-matching (matching perceptual sensitivity across all locations), to highlight when inflation-like effects may (and may not) be present in a visual task.


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