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Idiosyncratic perception: a link between acuity, perceived position and apparent size


Perceiving the positions of objects is a prerequisite for most other visual and visuomotor functions, but human perception of object position varies from one individual to the next. The source of these individual differences in perceived position and their perceptual consequences are unknown. Here, we tested whether idiosyncratic biases in the underlying representation of visual space propagate across different levels of visual processing. In Experiment 1, using a position matching task, we found stable, observer-specific compressions and expansions within local regions throughout the visual field. We then measured Vernier acuity (Experiment 2) and perceived size of objects (Experiment 3) across the visual field and found that individualized spatial distortions were closely associated with variations in both visual acuity and apparent object size. Our results reveal idiosyncratic biases in perceived position and size, originating from a heterogeneous spatial resolution that carries across the visual hierarchy.

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