When crowding of crowding leads to uncrowding

M. Manassi* (Corresponding Author), Bilge Sayim, Michael H Herzog

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract In object recognition, features are thought to be processed in a hierarchical fashion from low-level analysis (edges and lines) to complex figural processing (shapes and objects). Here, we show that figural processing determines low-level processing. Vernier offset discrimination strongly deteriorated when we embedded a vernier in a square. This is a classic crowding effect. Surprisingly, crowding almost disappeared when additional squares were added. We propose that figural interactions between the squares precede low-level suppression of the vernier by the single square, contrary to hierarchical models of object recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

We thank Marc Repnow for technical support and Aaron Clarke for useful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Project “Basics of visual processing: what crowds in crowding?” of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). Bilge Sayim is currently funded by an FWO Pegasus Marie-Curie grant.

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