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Mirror Symmetry Is Subject to Crowding
Department of Psychology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke Street, West, Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 April 2011; in revised form: 9 June 2011 / Accepted: 28 June 2011 / Published: 13 July 2011
Abstract: Mirror symmetry is often thought to be particularly salient to human observers because it engages specialized mechanisms that evolved to sense symmetrical objects in nature. Although symmetry is indeed present in many of our artifacts and markings on wildlife, studies have shown that sensitivity to mirror symmetry does not serve an alerting function and sensitivity to symmetry decreases in a rather unremarkable way when it is presented away from the centre of the visual field. Here we show that symmetrical targets are vulnerable to the same interference as other stimuli when surrounded by non-target elements. These results provide further evidence that symmetry is not special to the early visual system, and reinforce the notion that our fascination with symmetry is more likely attributable to cognitive and aesthetic factors than to specialized, low level mechanisms in the visual system.
Keywords: symmetry; crowding; periphery; cortical magnification; eccentricity
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Roddy, G.; Gurnsey, R. Mirror Symmetry Is Subject to Crowding. Symmetry 2011, 3, 457-471.
Roddy G, Gurnsey R. Mirror Symmetry Is Subject to Crowding. Symmetry. 2011; 3(3):457-471.
Roddy, Gabrielle; Gurnsey, Rick. 2011. "Mirror Symmetry Is Subject to Crowding." Symmetry 3, no. 3: 457-471.