The Role of Visual Eccentricity on Preference for Abstract Symmetry

Rampone, Giulia and O'Sullivan, Noreen and Bertamini, Marco (2016) The Role of Visual Eccentricity on Preference for Abstract Symmetry. PLoS ONE, 11 (4). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1932-6203

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This study tested preference for abstract patterns, comparing random patterns to a two-fold
bilateral symmetry. Stimuli were presented at random locations in the periphery. Preference
for bilateral symmetry has been extensively studied in central vision, but evaluation at differ-
ent locations had not been systematically investigated. Patterns were presented for 200 ms
within a large circular region. On each trial participant changed fixation and were instructed
to select any location. Eccentricity values were calculated a posteriori as the distance
between ocular coordinates at pattern onset and coordinates for the centre of the pattern.
Experiment 1 consisted of two Tasks. In Task 1, participants detected pattern regularity as
fast as possible. In Task 2 they evaluated their liking for the pattern on a Likert-scale.
Results from Task 1 revealed that with our parameters eccentricity did not affect symmetry
detection. However, in Task 2, eccentricity predicted more negative evaluation of symmetry,
but not random patterns. In Experiment 2 participants were either presented with symmetry
or random patterns. Regularity was task-irrelevant in this task. Participants discriminated
the proportion of black/white dots within the pattern and then evaluated their liking for the
pattern. Even when only one type of regularity was presented and regularity was task-irrele-
vant, preference evaluation for symmetry decreased with increasing eccentricity, whereas
eccentricity did not affect the evaluation of random patterns. We conclude that symmetry
appreciation is higher for foveal presentation in a way not fully accounted for by sensitivity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: Copyright: © 2016 Rampone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: symmetry, visual eccentricity, visual preference, rating scale
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Giulia Rampone
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2016 12:23
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2018 15:23

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