Influence of peripheral vision on object categorization in central vision
Predictive models of visual perception state that predictions based on the rapid processing of low spatial frequencies (LSF) may guide the subsequent processing of high spatial frequencies (HSF). While the HSF signal necessarily comes from central vision, most of the LSF signal come from peripheral vision. The present study aimed at understanding how LSF in peripheral vision may be used to generate predictive signals that guide the processing of local elements in central vision. In two experiments, participants performed an object categorization task in central vision while a semantically congruent or incongruent scene background was displayed in peripheral vision. In Experiment 1, results showed a congruence effect when a scene background was displayed before the object onset, this effect increasing linearly with scene duration. In Experiment 2, results showed a congruence effect only when the scene background was intact, thus carrying a semantic meaning, but not when it was phase-scrambled, thus carrying only low-level information. The study suggests that the low resolution of peripheral vision facilitate the processing of foveated objects in a scene, in line with predictive models of visual perception.