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Neurosci Behav Physiol. 2009 Nov;39(9):841-9. doi: 10.1007/s11055-009-9209-4. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Studies of the perception of incomplete outline images of different sizes.

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Visual Physiology Laboratory, I. P. Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 6 Makarov Bank, 199034, St. Petersburg, Russia.


The aim of the present work was to assess the range of angular sizes of fragmented images of objects at which perception of the images was scale-independent. Measurements were made of human subjects' recognition thresholds for the shapes of the objects over a wide range of angular sizes (0.19-50 degrees). The experiments used the Gollin test--a method for studying the recognition of fragmented outline images of objects with which the observer is familiar. The results obtained demonstrated that there is a wide range of angular sizes, from 1.0 degrees to 50 degrees, over which the perception thresholds of incomplete outline images do not change with changes in size, along with a narrow range of stimulus sizes, 0.19-1.0 degrees, over which there is a significant size dependence. We suggest that the increase in thresholds and the failure to recognize images of small size occur as a result of an increased contribution of sampling noise at the level of the human retina.

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