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Visual Performance Fields: Frames of Reference
Published: Thursday, September 08, 2011
Author: Jennifer E. Corbett et al.

by Jennifer E. Corbett, Marisa Carrasco

Performance in most visual discrimination tasks is better along the horizontal than the vertical meridian (Horizontal-Vertical Anisotropy, HVA), and along the lower than the upper vertical meridian (Vertical Meridian Asymmetry, VMA), with intermediate performance at intercardinal locations. As these inhomogeneities are prevalent throughout visual tasks, it is important to understand the perceptual consequences of dissociating spatial reference frames. In all studies of performance fields so far, allocentric environmental references and egocentric observer reference frames were aligned. Here we quantified the effects of manipulating head-centric and retinotopic coordinates on the shape of visual performance fields. When observers viewed briefly presented radial arrays of Gabors and discriminated the tilt of a target relative to homogeneously oriented distractors, performance fields shifted with head tilt (Experiment 1), and fixation (Experiment 2). These results show that performance fields shift in-line with egocentric referents, corresponding to the retinal location of the stimulus.