Crowding and Binding: Not All Feature Dimensions Behave in the Same Way

Amit Yashar, Xiuyun Wu, Jiageng Chen, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Humans often fail to identify a target because of nearby flankers. The nature and stages at which this crowding occurs are unclear, and whether crowding operates via a common mechanism across visual dimensions is unknown. Using a dual-estimation report (N = 42), we quantitatively assessed the processing of features alone and in conjunction with another feature both within and between dimensions. Under crowding, observers misreported colors and orientations (i.e., reported a flanker value instead of the target’s value) but averaged the target’s and flankers’ spatial frequencies (SFs). Interestingly, whereas orientation and color errors were independent, orientation and SF errors were interdependent. These qualitative differences of errors across dimensions revealed a tight link between crowding and feature binding, which is contingent on the type of feature dimension. These results and a computational model suggest that crowding and misbinding are due to pooling across a joint coding of orientations and SFs but not of colors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1533-1546
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • color
  • crowding
  • estimation
  • feature binding
  • open data
  • open materials
  • orientation
  • spatial frequency
  • spatial integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Crowding and Binding: Not All Feature Dimensions Behave in the Same Way'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this