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Article Dans Une Revue Vision Research Année : 2022

Anisotropic representations of visual space modulate visual numerosity estimation


Humans can estimate the number of visually displayed items without counting. This capacity of numerosity perception has often been attributed to a dedicated system to estimate numerosity, or alternatively to the exploitation of various stimulus features, such as density, convex hull, the size of items, and occupancy area. The distribution of the presented items is usually not varied with eccentricity in the visual field. However, our visual fields are highly asymmetric. To date, it is unclear how inhomogeneities of the visual field impact numerosity perception. Besides eccentricity, a pronounced asymmetry is the radial-tangential anisotropy. For example, in crowding, radially placed flankers interfere more strongly with target perception than tangentially placed flankers. Similarly, in redundancy masking, the number of perceived items in repeating patterns is reduced when the items are arranged radially but not when they are arranged tangentially. Here, we investigated whether numerosity perception is subject to the radial-tangential anisotropy of spatial vision to shed light on the underlying topology of numerosity perception. In Experiment 1, observers were presented with varying numbers of discs, predominantly arranged radially or tangentially, and asked to report their perceived number. In Experiment 2, observers were presented with the same displays as in Experiment 1, and were asked to encircle items that were perceived as a group. We found that numerosity estimation depended on the arrangement of discs, suggesting a radial-tangential anisotropy of numerosity perception. Grouping among discs did not seem to explain our results. We suggest that the topology of spatial vision modulates numerosity estimation and that asymmetries of visual space should be taken into account when investigating numerosity estimation.
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hal-03904540 , version 1 (06-01-2023)



Li L-Miao, Bert Reynvoet, Bilge Sayim. Anisotropic representations of visual space modulate visual numerosity estimation. Vision Research, 2022, 201, pp.108130. ⟨10.1016/j.visres.2022.108130⟩. ⟨hal-03904540⟩
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