The eccentricity at which peripheral thresholds double their foveal value ( E 2 ) may relate to the visual system's anatomical organization. Using a variety of experimental approaches, previous estimates of E 2 for vernier acuity have ranged from less than 0.1 deg to greater than 15.0 deg. This broad range of values seems to challenge the usefulness of E 2 for determining visual topography. We explain that the varying contributions from at least two different regimes, spatial filter and local sign, may explain the broad range of E 2 values found previously. We attempt to limit responses to the local sign regime, where it may be possible to determine the psychophysical analog to the gradient of the cortical spatial grain. In our experiments we measure how vernier task performance falls off with eccentricity. We hypothesize that if the vernier features are adequately separated in time, they will fall outside of the spatial filter's temporal integration span and the local sign regime would then predominate for precise positional processing. Using an interstimulus interval ranging from 20 to 200 msec between the two vernier features, we estimate that vernier thresholds in the local sign regime double at about 0.8 ± 0.2 deg eccentricity, which is similar to anatomical estimates of the eccentricity at which the linear spacing of human cortical units doubles. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd
Vision Research – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 1997
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