Bilateral field advantage in visual crowding

Ramakrishna Chakravarthi, Patrick Cavanagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Thirty randomly oriented T’s were presented in a circle around fixation at an eccentricity of 11 degrees such that each T was crowded by its neighbors. Two locations within the same hemifield (unilateral condition) or one location in each hemifield (bilateral condition) were precued for subsequent probing. Observers were then asked to report the orientation of a target T at one of these locations. A bilateral field advantage was found: target identification was better when the two precued targets were in different hemifields than when they were within the same hemifield. This bilateral advantage was absent when only targets were presented, without any distracters. Further controls showed that this advantage could not be attributed to differences between horizontal and vertical target alignments or to visual field anisotropies. A similar bilateral advantage has been reported for multiple object tracking (Alvarez & Cavanagh, 2005) and other attentional tasks. Our results suggest that crowding also demonstrates separate attentional resources in the left and right hemifields. There was a cost to attending to two targets presented unilaterally over attending to a single target. However, this cost was reduced when the two crowded targets were in separate hemifields.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1646
Number of pages9
JournalVision Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


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