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Inflation versus filling-in: why we feel we see more than we actually do in peripheral vision.

Authors
  • Odegaard, Brian1
  • Chang, Min Yu2, 3
  • Lau, Hakwan4, 5, 3, 6
  • Cheung, Sing-Hang7
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA [email protected]
  • 2 College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
  • 3 Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. , (Hong Kong SAR China)
  • 4 Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • 5 Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • 6 State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. , (Hong Kong SAR China)
  • 7 Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong [email protected] , (Hong Kong SAR China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
Publisher
The Royal Society
Publication Date
Sep 19, 2018
Volume
373
Issue
1755
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0345
PMID: 30061459
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Do we perceive fine details in the visual periphery? Here, we propose that phenomenology in the visual periphery can be characterized by an inflated sense of perceptual capacity, as observers overestimate the quality of their perceptual inputs. Distinct from the well-known perceptual phenomenon of 'filling-in' where perceptual content is generated or completed endogenously, inflation can be characterized by incorrect introspection at the subjective level. The perceptual content itself may be absent or weak (i.e. not necessarily filled-in), and yet such content is mistakenly regarded by the system as rich. Behaviourally, this can be reflected by metacognitive deficits in the degree to which confidence judgements track task accuracy, and decisional biases for observers to think particular items are present, even when they are not. In two experiments using paradigms that exploit unique attributes of peripheral vision (crowding and summary statistics), we provide evidence that both types of deficits are present in peripheral vision, as observers' reports are marked by overconfidence in discrimination judgements and high numbers of false alarms in detection judgements. We discuss potential mechanisms that may be the cause of inflation and propose future experiments to further explore this unique sensory phenomenon.This article is part of the theme issue 'Perceptual consciousness and cognitive access'. © 2018 The Author(s).

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