The Fovea is essential for peripheral vision

the effect of foveal distractors on extra-foveal perception

Kimberly Weldon, Alexandra Woolgar, Anina Rich, Mark Williams

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    Neuroimaging evidence indicates that visual information about objects in the periphery is fed back to foveal retinotopic cortex in a new and separate representation. Additionally, delayed disruption of foveal confluence via transcranical magnetic stimulation impairs discrimination of objects in the periphery, suggesting this feedback mechanism is essential for extra-foveal perception. In this study, we developed a behavioural paradigm to further explore the nature of this feedback mechanism and provide a behavioural measure. Participants performed a discrimination task on objects in the periphery while fixating centrally. A visual distractor presented at the fovea 100ms after presentation of the peripheral stimulus disrupted perceptual discrimination more than visual distractors presented at other stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). In a control experiment, a visual distractor presented elsewhere in the periphery at the same SOAs did not impair behavioural performance. These results corroborate previous research showing foveal retinotopic cortex is essential for extra-foveal perception. This study also demonstrates a new paradigm for investigating the nature of the foveal feedback phenomenon.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)609
    Number of pages1
    JournalJournal of Vision
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventAnnual Vision Sciences Society Meeting (15th : 2015) - Florida
    Duration: 15 May 201420 May 2015

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