Colour recognition at large visual eccentricities in normal observers and patients with low vision

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Abstract

When we look at our spatial environment we have the feeling that the whole visual field is coloured, yet the density of cone photoreceptors decreases considerably as eccentricity increases. We investigated colour perception (coloured/noncoloured), colour naming and whether colour helps object recognition at eccentricities varying from 0° to 80° in healthy observers and patients with low vision. We found that colours can be perceived and even identified above chance at very large eccentricities (60°). When asked to categorize coloured and grey level objects as edible/nonedible, both healthy observers and patients with low vision showed better performance for coloured edible objects at 50° suggesting that colour is used for object recognition in conditions of degraded form perception.

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