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Anisotropies in peripheral vernier acuity


Vernier acuity for short horizontal, vertical and oblique target lines was measured in many locations in the periphery of the visual field in normal human observers. In the 10 deg periphery the average alignment threshold with oblique vernier lines in eight locations for three observers was 2.29 times higher than that with vertical and horizontal target lines. This oblique effect was found everywhere in the visual field. Similar conclusions are drawn for configurations in which the lines were replaced by just their distal endpoints, but here, additionally, performance was distinctly better when the dot pair was collinear with the fixation point, i.e. oriented radially, than when it was oriented tangentially. Both for vernier lines and for dot pairs, in all observers horizontal configurations showed somewhat better thresholds than vertical ones. These results suggest an inherent pattern of connectivity throughout the visual field favoring processing in the cardinal orientations over the obliques, the radial over the tangential and, to a limited extent, the horizontal over the vertical.

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