What crowding can tell us about object representations

M. Manassi, Sophie Lonchampt, Aaron Clarke, Michael H Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


In crowding, perception of a target usually deteriorates when flanking elements are presented next to the target. Surprisingly, adding further flankers can lead to a release from crowding. In previous work we showed that, for example, vernier offset discrimination at 9° of eccentricity deteriorated when a vernier was embedded in a square. Adding further squares improved performance. The more squares presented, the better the performance, extending across 20° of the visual field. Here, we show that very similar results hold true for shapes other than squares, including unfamiliar, irregular shapes. Hence, uncrowding is not restricted to simple and familiar shapes. Our results provoke the question of whether any type of shape is represented at any location in the visual field. Moreover, small changes in the orientation of the flanking shapes led to strong increases in crowding strength. Hence, highly specific shape-specific interactions across large parts of the visual field determine vernier acuity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


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