Navigation Links
Findings about veracity of peripheral vision could lead to better robotic eyes

Two Kansas State University psychology researchers have found that although central vision allows our eyes to discern the details of a scene, our peripheral vision is most important for telling us what type of scene we're looking at in the first place, such as whether it is a street, a mountain or a kitchen.

"I think the most surprising part of the study is that we didn't really expect peripheral vision to do that well at getting the gist of a scene," said Adam Larson, K-State master's student in psychology. "What makes our study interesting is that it's showing that peripheral vision is really important for perceiving scenes."

Larson is working with Lester Loschky, a K-State assistant professor of psychology, to research how people understand and label what they see around them in the world. This study of peripheral versus central vision appeared in the Journal of Vision and is available online at

The researchers showed people two kinds of photographs of everyday scenes, ones in which the periphery was obscured and others in which the center of the image was obscured. View the images online at

"We found that your peripheral vision is important for taking in the gist of a scene and that you can remove the central portion of an image, where your visual acuity is best, and still do just fine at identifying the scene," Larson said.

Loschky and Larson also showed images in which they obscured less of the image. They found that people's central vision benefitted more from just a few additional pixels than did their peripheral vision. This suggests how the areas of our eyes known as our visual fields use information differently.

Loschky said the human eye moves on average three times each second. When the eyes are still -- called fixations -- our brains take in information. Metaphorically, fixations are like snapshots of a scene. When the eyes are moving, he said it is like moving a video camera too fast -- the images are blurry, so our brains don't take in much information.

"The question we're trying to answer is, how do we get the information about our environment from these snapshots?" Loschky said. "It turns out that the first meaningful information you can get from fixation is probably to give it a very short label."

That's what we do when we channel surf, he said.

"People tend to do that pretty quickly, particularly the ones who drive everybody else crazy," Loschky said. "To decide that quickly whether to watch a program, they have to get an overall impression of what they're looking at, even though they don't know many of the details of it."

Loschky said that examining how people take in scene information paves the way for a better understanding of eyewitness testimony in court cases, as well possible applications in advertising and marketing. But he said the most important contribution of this research could probably be for building better robots.

"If you want to build a machine that can understand what it's looking at, we have to understand how humans do it first," he said. "Suppose you give your robot two video camera eyes. How are you going to get the robot to the next critical step, which is to understand what it sees? That's a really difficult problem that computer scientists have been working on since the 1950s, and they're just starting to have some success now."

In future research, Larson and Loschky will study how people make sense of events that take place over time, such as seeing that someone is washing the dishes, taking a walk or robbing a bank. Whereas the scene gist research investigates human visual experiences by using single photographs, the researchers said this research will investigate our visual experiences using sequences of photographs or movies.


Contact: Lester Loschky
Kansas State University

Related medicine news :

1. Many Parents Share Genetic Test Findings With Kids
2. New Alzheimers findings: High stress and genetic risk factor lead to increased memory decline
3. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
4. Health psychologists discuss latest research findings
5. Incidental findings found when radiologists take a broader look at renal MRA
6. Chair of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Pledges to Recommend Re-evaluation of Recent Glaucoma Findings
7. The Organic Trade Association Hails Preliminary Research Findings Showing Nutritional Benefits of Organic Products
8. Key findings for all veterans seen in depression and suicide study
9. Video: BSP Pharma Inc. Announces Groundbreaking Findings from The Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research Joint Health Clinical Study
10. 2007 Life Sciences Compensation Findings Disclosed
11. Chemoprevention, naturally: Findings on plant-derived cancer medicines
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Lakeview Health, a ... to celebrate their sobriety and show through pictures what a positive difference it ... this Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon ... programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, ... unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by ... TMJ Disorder, Bruxism, and moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the ... the great success Botox® delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... of music, friendships, and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for ... , For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, Mothers Against ... nation’s roadways has dropped below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In 2014, ... , According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced the ... the United States (U.S.) Food and ... to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen believes this submission ... FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA submission using the ... M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Linden Care, LLC, a retail specialty ... for patients suffering from chronic pain, said today that ... Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from unilaterally terminating ... --> --> The company ... legal options. --> --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, the jury ... Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability and misrepresentation ... device, awarded $11 million in favor of Plaintiff ... three days of deliberations, the jury found that ... and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright Medical made ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: