Polar angle asymmetries in visual perception and neural architecture

Marc M. Himmelberg, Jonathan Winawer, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Human visual performance changes with visual field location. It is best at the center of gaze and declines with eccentricity, and also varies markedly with polar angle. These perceptual polar angle asymmetries are linked to asymmetries in the organization of the visual system. We review and integrate research quantifying how performance changes with visual field location and how this relates to neural organization at multiple stages of the visual system. We first briefly review how performance varies with eccentricity and the neural foundations of this effect. We then focus on perceptual polar angle asymmetries and their neural foundations. Characterizing perceptual and neural variations across and around the visual field contributes to our understanding of how the brain translates visual signals into neural representations which form the basis of visual perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-458
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • cortical magnification
  • eccentricity
  • retinal ganglion cells
  • visual cortex
  • visual field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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