Crowding Effect: Human Visual System's Attention Affected by Color

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The Affects of Color on the Crowding Effect

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Abstract

In 1970, H. Bouma published a famous paper on the ‘Crowding Effect’. In this phenomenon, the ability to recognize a single letter is hindered by the presence of flanking letters. Two flanking letters produce a greater interference than a single flanking letter. In our experiment, we took a step further to test whether the ability to accurately identify a single letter, surrounded by two flanking letters, is affected by the color of the target letter. The human visual system directs its attention differently based on the color of the stimuli. The interpretation of color affects perception; therefore accuracy will vary based on the sensitivity to change in color. Three subjects tested three colors each and the results were consistent with our hypothesis. Meaning that, accuracy is affected by the manipulation of the color of the target letter, implying that the human visual system’s attention is indeed affected by color.

The Affects of Color on the Crowding Effect Introduction
What makes a target noticeable? This simple question is the basis to our understanding of the human visual system. We have all experienced the difficulty of trying to locate a face in a crowd. When a person is surrounded by other people, it is harder for us to identify their face. This is known as a crowding effect (Bouma, 1970). In 1970, H. Bouma published a famous paper on the difficulty to recognize a single letter in the presence of flanking letters. Two flanking letters produced more interference than a single flanking letter. In this experiment, we concentrated on the relationship between the color of the target and the probability of identifying it accurately. Our hypothesis was that the human visual system directs its attention differently based on the color of the stimuli. The interpretation of color affects perception; therefore accuracy will vary based on the...
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