Seeing actions in the fovea influences subsequent action recognition in the periphery

Laura Fademrecht, Nick Barraclough, Isabelle Bulthoff, Stephan de la Rosa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Although actions often appear in the visual periphery, little is known about action recognition away from fixation. We showed in previous studies that action recognition of moving stick-figures is surprisingly good in peripheral vision even at 75° eccentricity. Furthermore, there was no decline of performance up to 45° eccentricity. This finding could be explained by action sensitive units in the fovea sampling also action information from the periphery. To investigate this possibility, we assessed the horizontal extent of the spatial sampling area (SSA) of action sensitive units in the fovea by using an action adaptation paradigm. Fifteen participants adapted to an action (handshake, punch) at the fovea were tested with an ambiguous action stimulus at 0°, 20°, 40° and 60° eccentricity left and right of fixation. We used a large screen display to cover the whole horizontal visual field of view. An adaptation effect was present in the periphery up to 20° eccentricity (p<0.001), suggesting a large SSA of action sensitive units representing foveal space. Hence, action recognition in the visual periphery might benefit from a large SSA of foveal units.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerception
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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