Late disruption of central visual field disrupts peripheral perception of form and color

Kimberly B. Weldon*, Alexandra Woolgar, Anina N. Rich, Mark A. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Evidence from neuroimaging and brain stimulation studies suggest that visual information about objects in the periphery is fed back to foveal retinotopic cortex in a separate representation that is essential for peripheral perception. The characteristics of this phenomenon have important theoretical implications for the role fovea-specific feedback might play in perception. In this work, we employed a recently developed behavioral paradigm to explore whether late disruption to central visual space impaired perception of color. In the first experiment, participants performed a shape discrimination task on colored novel objects in the periphery while fixating centrally. Consistent with the results from previous work, a visual distractor presented at fixation ~100ms after presentation of the peripheral stimuli impaired sensitivity to differences in peripheral shapes more than a visual distractor presented at other stimulus onset asynchronies. In a second experiment, participants performed a color discrimination task on the same colored objects. In a third experiment, we further tested for this foveal distractor effect with stimuli restricted to a low-level feature by using homogenous color patches. These two latter experiments resulted in a similar pattern of behavior: a central distractor presented at the critical stimulus onset asynchrony impaired sensitivity to peripheral color differences, but, importantly, the magnitude of the effect was stronger when peripheral objects contained complex shape information. These results show a behavioral effect consistent with disrupting feedback to the fovea, in line with the foveal feedback suggested by previous neuroimaging studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0219725
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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