Limits on Perceptual Encoding Can Be Predicted From Known Receptive Field Properties of Human Visual Cortex.
Cohen, Michael A.
Rhee, Juliana Y.
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CitationCohen, Michael A., Juliana Y. Rhee, and George A. Alvarez. "Limits on Perceptual Encoding Can Be Predicted From Known Receptive Field Properties of Human Visual Cortex." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 42, no. 1 (2016): 67-77.
AbstractHuman cognition has a limited capacity that is often attributed to the brain having finite cognitive resources, but the nature of these resources is usually not specified. Here, we show evidence that perceptual interference between items can be predicted by known receptive field properties of the visual cortex, suggesting that competition within representational maps is an important source of the capacity limitations of visual processing. Across the visual hierarchy, receptive fields get larger and represent more complex, high-level features. Thus, when presented simultaneously, high-level items (e.g., faces) will often land within the same receptive fields, while low-level items (e.g., color patches) will often not. Using a perceptual task, we found long-range interference between high-level items, but only short-range interference for low-level items, with both types of interference being weaker across hemifields. Finally, we show that long-range interference between items appears to occur primarily during perceptual encoding and not during working memory maintenance. These results are naturally explained by the distribution of receptive fields and establish a link between perceptual capacity limits and the underlying neural architecture.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41302566
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