Translation Tolerance in Vision

AbstractA fundamental challenge in object recognition is to recognize an image when it is projected across different retinal locations, an ability known as translation tolerance. Although the human visual system can overcome this challenge, the mechanisms responsible remain largely unexplained. The ‘trained-tolerance’ approach holds that an object must be experienced across different retinal locations to achieve translation tolerance. Previous studies have supported this approach by showing that the visual system struggles to generalize recognition of novel objects to translations as small as 2° of visual angle. The present paper outlines a series of eyetracking studies that show novel objects can be recognized at translations as far as 18° from the trained retinal location, challenging the standard account of translation tolerance in neuroscience and psychology.

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