Najib J. Majaj

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A letter in the peripheral visual field is much harder to identify in the presence of nearby letters. This is "crowding." Both crowding and ordinary masking are special cases of "masking," which, in general, refers to any effect of a "mask" pattern on the discriminability of a signal. Here we characterize crowding, and propose a diagnostic test to(More)
Most neurons in macaque area MT are selective for the direction of stimulus motion. By comparing direction selectivity for gratings and plaids, we classified MT neurons as pattern direction selective (PDS) or component direction selective (CDS). We compared the time course of responses in CDS and PDS neurons in opiate-anesthetized macaques, using a rapid(More)
Bouma's law of crowding predicts an uncrowded central window through which we can read and a crowded periphery through which we cannot. The old discovery that readers make several fixations per second, rather than a continuous sweep across the text, suggests that reading is limited by the number of letters that can be acquired in one fixation, without(More)
How we see is today explained by physical optics and retinal transduction, followed by feature detection, in the cortex, by a bank of parallel independent spatial-frequency-selective channels. It is assumed that the observer uses whichever channels are best for the task at hand. Our current results demand a revision of this framework: Observers are not free(More)
Direction-selective neurons in primary visual cortex have small receptive fields that encode the motions of local features. These motions often differ from the motion of the object to which they belong and must therefore be integrated elsewhere. A candidate site for this integration is visual cortical area MT (V5), in which cells with large receptive fields(More)
The primate visual system achieves remarkable visual object recognition performance even in brief presentations, and under changes to object exemplar, geometric transformations, and background variation (a.k.a. core visual object recognition). This remarkable performance is mediated by the representation formed in inferior temporal (IT) cortex. In parallel,(More)
Do we identify an object as a whole or by its parts? This simple question has been surprisingly hard to answer. It has been suggested that faces are recognized as wholes and words are recognized by parts. Here we answer the question by applying a test for crowding. In crowding, a target is harder to identify in the presence of nearby flankers. Previous work(More)
Extensive research has revealed that the ventral visual stream hierarchically builds a robust representation for supporting visual object categorization tasks. We systematically explored the ability of multiple ventral visual areas to support a variety of 'category-orthogonal' object properties such as position, size and pose. For complex naturalistic(More)
A letter in the peripheral visual field is much harder to identify in the presence of nearby letters. This is called “crowding”. In general, masking is a procedure: introducing any “mask” pattern that affects discriminability of the signal. Crowding conforms to the masking paradigm, but the crowding effect is unlike ordinary masking. Here we characterize(More)
Analysis of the movement of a complex visual stimulus is expressed in the responses of pattern-direction-selective neurons in area MT, which depend in turn on directionally selective inputs from area V1. How do MT neurons integrate their inputs? Pattern selectivity in MT breaks down when the gratings comprising a moving plaid are presented to(More)