Parallel Computation of Vernier Offsets, Curvature and Chevrons in Humans

Unknown author (1989-12-01)

A vernier offset is detected at once among straight lines, and reaction times are almost independent of the number of simultaneously presented stimuli (distractors), indicating parallel processing of vernier offsets. Reaction times for identifying a vernier offset to one side among verniers offset to the opposite side increase with the number of distractors, indicating serial processing. Even deviations below a photoreceptor diameter can be detected at once. The visual system thus attains positional accuracy below the photoreceptor diameter simultaneously at different positions. I conclude that deviation from straightness, or change of orientation, is detected in parallel over the visual field. Discontinuities or gradients in orientation may represent an elementary feature of vision.