Since perceptual and neural face sensitivity is associated with a foveal bias, and neural place sensitivity is associated with a peripheral bias (integration over space), we hypothesized that face perception ability will decline more with eccentricity than place perception ability. We also wanted to examine whether face perception ability would show a left visual field (LeVF) bias due to earlier reports suggesting right hemisphere dominance for faces, or would show an upper or lower visual field bias. Participants performed foveal and parafoveal face and house discrimination tasks for upright or inverted stimuli (≤4°) while their eye movements were monitored. Low-level visual tasks were also measured. The eccentricity-related accuracy reductions were evident for all categories. Through detailed analyses we found (i) a robust face inversion effect across the parafovea, while for houses an opposite effect was found, (ii) higher eccentricity-related sensitivity for face performance than for house performance (via inverted vs. upright within-category eccentricity-driven reductions), (iii) within-category but not across-category performance associations across eccentricities, and (iv) no hemifield biases. Our central to parafoveal investigations suggest that high-level vision processing may be reflected in behavioural performance.
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