On June 27, Professor Chen Juan of the School of Psychology of South China Normal University, published the paper Changing the Real Viewing Distance Reveals the Temporal Evolution of Size Constancy in Visual Cortex in Current Biology (5-Year Impact Factor: 10.09). Professor Chen Juan acts both as the first author and co-corresponding author. This study reveals computation of size constancy in real time with real-world viewing for the first time.


Previous studies show that some distance cues, especially oculomotor cues such as vergence and accommodation, can modulate the signals in the thalamus at the initial processing stage, while Professor Chen Juan's research provides strong evidence that, even though oculomotor distance cues have been shown to modulate the spiking rate of neurons in the thalamus and in V1, the integration of viewing distance cues and retinal image size takes at least 150 ms to unfold, which suggests that the size-constancy-related activation patterns in V1 reported in previous fMRI studies reflect the later processing within V1 and/or top-down input from other high-level visual areas. It should be noted that in the field of perceptual integration, there are many studies that focus on the integration of color and motion, as well as orientation, shape, etc., but little attention has been paid to the integration of real distance and retinal size, shape, motion, etc., which may be due to the fact that so far few visual studies have directly manipulated the position of objects.

Professor Chen Juan's research boldly moves the monitor to different distances and eliminated a series of confounding factors through clever experimental design and sophisticated data analysis. Professor Chen Juan’s research examines the computation of size-constancy in real time with real-world viewing conditions for the first time. 

The research is supported by the Scientific Research Foundation of South China Normal University, the National Natural Science Foundation for Young Scientist of China, and the Science Foundation of Canada.

Source: the School of Psychology

Translated: Wen Yanyu

Proofread: Edwin Baak 

Reviewed: Li Jianru

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