Complexity impairs efficiency in the periphery

Marialuisa Martelli, Samba Silla, Najib J. Majaj, Denis G. Pelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pelli et al. (2002) show that efficiency for identifying letters is inversely proportional to their perimetric complexity (perimeter squared over "ink" area). Here we report a much larger effect of complexity in the periphery. Efficiency for simple letters is similar in fovea and periphery, but efficiency for complex letters is a factor of five worse in the periphery (15 deg). The simple letters were either Sloan (a bold sans serif uppercase font, like Helvetica) or " snake" letters made up of colinear gabor patches. The complex letters were either Kuenstler (a fancy lacey uppercase decorative display font such as might appear on a wedding invitation) or snake letters made up of gabor patches orthogonal to the letter stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505a
JournalJournal of vision
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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