Crowding and Binding: Not All Feature Dimensions Behave in the Same Way

Amit Yashar, Xiuyun Wu, Jiageng Chen, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Humans often fail to identify a target because of nearby flankers. The nature and stages at which this crowding occurs are unclear, and whether crowding operates via a common mechanism across visual dimensions is unknown. Using a dual-estimation report (N = 42), we quantitatively assessed the processing of features alone and in conjunction with another feature both within and between dimensions. Under crowding, observers misreported colors and orientations (i.e., reported a flanker value instead of the target’s value) but averaged the target’s and flankers’ spatial frequencies (SFs). Interestingly, whereas orientation and color errors were independent, orientation and SF errors were interdependent. These qualitative differences of errors across dimensions revealed a tight link between crowding and feature binding, which is contingent on the type of feature dimension. These results and a computational model suggest that crowding and misbinding are due to pooling across a joint coding of orientations and SFs but not of colors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1546
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Science
Volume30
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Denis Pelli and members of the Carrasco Lab for their useful comments. This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation Grant Nos. 1980/18 and 111/15 (to A. Yashar) and National Institutes of Health Grant No. R01-EY016200 (to M. Carrasco).

Funding Information:
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6506-5564 Yashar Amit 1 2 3 4 Wu Xiuyun 1 Chen Jiageng 1 Carrasco Marisa 1 2 1 Department of Psychology, New York University 2 Center for Neural Science, New York University 3 Department of Special Education, University of Haifa 4 The Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities, University of Haifa Amit Yashar, University of Haifa, Faculty of Education, 199 Abba Khoushy Ave., Haifa, 3498838, Israel E-mail: amit.yashar@edu.haifa.ac.il 10 2019 30 10 1533 1546 11 3 2019 22 7 2019 © The Author(s) 2019 2019 Association for Psychological Science Humans often fail to identify a target because of nearby flankers. The nature and stages at which this crowding occurs are unclear, and whether crowding operates via a common mechanism across visual dimensions is unknown. Using a dual-estimation report ( N = 42), we quantitatively assessed the processing of features alone and in conjunction with another feature both within and between dimensions. Under crowding, observers misreported colors and orientations (i.e., reported a flanker value instead of the target’s value) but averaged the target’s and flankers’ spatial frequencies (SFs). Interestingly, whereas orientation and color errors were independent, orientation and SF errors were interdependent. These qualitative differences of errors across dimensions revealed a tight link between crowding and feature binding, which is contingent on the type of feature dimension. These results and a computational model suggest that crowding and misbinding are due to pooling across a joint coding of orientations and SFs but not of colors. crowding feature binding spatial integration color spatial frequency orientation estimation open data open materials national institutes of health https://doi.org/10.13039/100000002 EY016200 Israel Science Foundation https://doi.org/10.13039/501100003977 111/15 Israel Science Foundation https://doi.org/10.13039/501100003977 1980/18 special-property open-data special-property open-materials We thank Denis Pelli and members of the Carrasco Lab for their useful comments. Action Editor Edward S. Awh served as action editor for this article. Author Contributions A. Yashar and M. Carrasco developed the study concept. All the authors contributed to the study design. A. Yashar, X. Wu, and J. Chen collected pilot data. X. Wu collected experimental data. A. Yashar and X. Wu analyzed the data. A. Yashar, X. Wu, and M. Carrasco interpreted the data. A. Yashar and X. Wu drafted the manuscript, and M. Carrasco provided critical revisions and edited the manuscript. All the authors approved the final manuscript for submission. ORCID iD Amit Yashar https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6506-5564 Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared that there were no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship or the publication of this article. Funding This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation Grant Nos. 1980/18 and 111/15 (to A. Yashar) and National Institutes of Health Grant No. R01-EY016200 (to M. Carrasco). Supplemental Material Additional supporting information can be found at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/suppl/10.1177/0956797619870779 Open Practices All data and materials have been made publicly available via the Open Science Framework and can be accessed at osf.io/vy62h . The design and analysis plans for this study were not preregistered. The complete Open Practices Disclosure for this article can be found at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/suppl/10.1177/0956797619870779 . This article has received the badges for Open Data and Open Materials. More information about the Open Practices badges can be found at http://www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/badges .

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Keywords

  • color
  • crowding
  • estimation
  • feature binding
  • open data
  • open materials
  • orientation
  • spatial frequency
  • spatial integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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