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Baby Lab

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Bilateral field advantage in visual crowding.

Thirty randomly oriented T's were presented in a circle around fixation at an eccentricity of 11 deg such that each T was crowded by its neighbors. Two locations within the same hemifield (unilateral condition) or one location in each hemifield (bilateral condition) were precued for subsequent probing. Observers were then asked to report the orientation of a target T at one of these locations. A bilateral field advantage was found: target identification was better when the two precued targets were in different hemifields than when they were within the same hemifield. This bilateral advantage was absent when only targets were presented, without any distracters. Further controls showed that this advantage could not be attributed to differences between horizontal and vertical target alignments or to visual field anisotropies. A similar bilateral advantage has been reported for multiple object tracking (Alvarez, G. A., & Cavanagh, P. (2005). Independent resources for attentional tracking in the left and right visual fields. Psychological Science 16(8), 637-643) and other attentional tasks. Our results suggest that crowding also demonstrates separate attentional resources in the left and right hemifields. There was a cost to attending to two targets presented unilaterally over attending to a single target. However, this cost was reduced when the two crowded targets were in separate hemifields. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)



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