Article abstract

Nature Neuroscience 9, 429 - 434 (2006)
Published online: 5 February 2006 | doi:10.1038/nn1641

The representation of perceived angular size in human primary visual cortex

Scott O Murray1, Huseyin Boyaci2 & Daniel Kersten2

Two objects that project the same visual angle on the retina can appear to occupy very different proportions of the visual field if they are perceived to be at different distances. What happens to the retinotopic map in primary visual cortex (V1) during the perception of these size illusions? Here we show, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), that the retinotopic representation of an object changes in accordance with its perceived angular size. A distant object that appears to occupy a larger portion of the visual field activates a larger area in V1 than an object of equal angular size that is perceived to be closer and smaller. These results demonstrate that the retinal size of an object and the depth information in a scene are combined early in the human visual system.

  1. Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Box 351525, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.
  2. Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.

Correspondence to: Scott O Murray1 e-mail:


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