The Perceived Size and Shape of Objects in Peripheral Vision
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Little is known about how we perceive the size and shape of objects in far peripheral vision. Observations made during an artistic study of visual space suggest that objects appear smaller and compressed in the periphery compared with central vision. To test this, we conducted three experiments. In Experiment 1, we asked participants to draw how a set of peripheral discs appeared when viewed peripherally without time or eye movement constraints. In Experiment 2, we used the method of constant stimuli to measure when a briefly presented peripheral stimulus appeared bigger or smaller compared with a central fixated one. In Experiment 3, we measured how accurate participants were in discriminating shapes presented briefly in the periphery. In Experiment 1, the peripheral discs were reported as appearing significantly smaller than the central disc, and as having an elliptical or polygonal contour. In Experiment 2, participants judged the size of peripheral discs as being significantly smaller when compared with the central disc across most of the peripheral field, and in Experiment 3, participants were quite accurate in reporting the shape of the peripheral object, except in the far periphery. Our results show that objects in the visual periphery are perceived as diminished in size when presented for long and brief exposures, suggesting diminution is an intrinsic feature of the structure of the visual space. Shape distortions, however, are reported only with longer exposures.
Baldwin, J., Burleigh, A., Pepperell, R. and Ruta, N. (2016) 'The Perceived Size and Shape of Objects in Peripheral Vision', i-Perception, 7 (4), pp. 1-23.
This article was published in i-Perception on 17th August 2016 (online), available open access at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2041669516661900
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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