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Texture discrimination asymmetries across the visual field

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

Texture discrimination is sometimes asymmetrical; texture A embedded in texture B is more easily detected than texture B embedded in texture A. Furthermore, texture discrimination often improves as the disparate texture is moved into the periphery; this has been referred to as the central performance drop (CPD). The interaction of these interesting and counter-intuitive aspects of texture discrimination has received very little attention. Using four stimulus pattern pairs that were previously shown to elicit asymmetrical texture discrimination, we examined texture discrimination asymmetries as a function of eccentricity. We found three patterns of results; (i) both texture arrangements (A in B, and B in A) elicit a CPD but do not show an asymmetry, (ii) both texture arrangements elicit a monotonic decrease in performance with eccentricity (i.e. no CPD) but an asymmetry is seen at each eccentricity and (iii) discrimination asymmetries are minimal at fixation and in the far periphery and maximal about 3° from fixation with a CPD generally shown for the 'stronger' member of the pair. These results emphasize that one cannot talk about the 'discriminability' of a particular texture pair without reference to the arrangement of the two textures and the eccentricity of presentation.


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