Next Article in Journal
On Symmetry of Independence Polynomials
Next Article in Special Issue
Folded Sheet Versus Transparent Sheet Models for Human Symmetry Judgments
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Reduction of Image Complexity Explains Aesthetic Preference for Symmetry
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

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.
Symmetry 2011, 3(3), 457-471;
Received: 19 April 2011 / Revised: 9 June 2011 / Accepted: 28 June 2011 / Published: 13 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry Processing in Perception and Art)
PDF [625 KB, uploaded 13 July 2011]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: symmetry; crowding; periphery; cortical magnification; eccentricity symmetry; crowding; periphery; cortical magnification; eccentricity

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Roddy, G.; Gurnsey, R. Mirror Symmetry Is Subject to Crowding. Symmetry 2011, 3, 457-471.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Symmetry EISSN 2073-8994 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top