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See detailA rapid, objective and implicit measure of visual quantity discrimination
Guillaume, Mathieu UL; Mejias Vanslype, Sandrine UL; Rossion, Bruno et al

in Neuropsychologia (2018), 111

There is evidence that accurate and rapid judgments of visual quantities form an essential component of human mathematical ability. However, explicit behavioural discrimination measures of visual ... [more ▼]

There is evidence that accurate and rapid judgments of visual quantities form an essential component of human mathematical ability. However, explicit behavioural discrimination measures of visual quantities are readily contaminated both by variations in low-level physical parameters and higher order cognitive factors, while implicit measures often lack objectivity and sensitivity at the individual participant level. Here, with electrophysiological frequency tagging, we show discrimination differences between briefly presented visual quantities as low as a ratio of 1.4 (i.e., 14 vs. 10 elements). From this threshold, the neural discrimination response increases with parametrically increasing differences in ratio between visual quantities. Inter-individual variability in magnitude of the EEG response at this population threshold ratio predicts behavioural performance at an independent number comparison task. Overall, these findings indicate that visual quantities are perceptually discriminated automatically and rapidly (i.e., at a glance) within the occipital cortex. Given its high sensitivity, this paradigm could provide an implicit diagnostic neural marker of this process suitable for a wide range of fundamental and clinical applications. [less ▲]

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