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Vision Res. 2003 Dec;43(27):2895-904.

The shape and size of crowding for moving targets.

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Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, 11-43 Bath Street, London EC1V 9EL, UK.


Our ability to identify alphanumeric characters can be impaired by the presence of nearby features, especially when the target is presented in the peripheral visual field, a phenomenon is known as crowding. We measured the effects of motion on acuity and on the spatial extent of crowding. In line with many previous studies, acuity decreased and crowding increased with eccentricity. Acuity also decreased for moving targets, but the absolute size of crowding zones remained relatively invariant of speed at each eccentricity. The two-dimensional shape of crowding zones was measured with a single flanking element on each side of the target. Crowding zones were elongated radially about central vision, relative to tangential zones, and were also asymmetrical: a more peripheral flanking element crowded more effectively than a more foveal one; and a flanking element that moved ahead of the target crowded more effectively than one that trailed behind it. These results reveal asymmetrical space-time dependent regions of visual integration that are radially organised about central vision.

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