Disappearance of grating induction at scotopic luminances.
ABSTRACT The dependence of grating induction magnitude on retinal illuminance was examined in two subjects. Grating induction magnitude, as determined using the cancellation technique of McCourt, declines monotonically with decreasing retinal illuminance, effectively disappearing at a value of 0.3-0.5 phot td. In a second experiment, sensitivity differences for test lights of 500 and 600 nm were measured as a function of background illuminance in order to gauge the luminance operating range for grating induction with respect to duplex photoreceptor function. Cancelling contrast (and hence grating induction magnitude) fell below detection threshold contrast at retinal illuminances coinciding with the transition from photopic to scotopic visual function. In a third experiment, spatial contrast sensitivity was measured using both spatially extended (10 degrees) and truncated (2 degrees) sinewave gratings at frequencies below 2 c/deg, at three values of retinal illuminance. Illuminance values corresponded to those where grating induction magnitude was, as determined from the first experiment, either maximal, intermediate or negligible. Similar to grating induction, the strength of lateral inhibition, as indexed by the slope of the low-frequency decline in contrast sensitivity, is progressively reduced with decreasing retinal illuminance, particularly for the 2 degree field. There was, however, using the same criteria, evidence of lateral inhibition at a value of retinal illuminance which did not support grating induction. The implications of these results are discussed with respect to classical brightness contrast phenomena, recent neuroanatomical and neurophysiological evidence of segregated parvo- and magnocellular mediated contrast processing systems, and with results from previous studies of the grating induction effect.
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ABSTRACT: In this study we quantify the influence of adaptation luminance on the threshold for direction-detection in coherently moving random-pixel arrays (RPAs). Square RPAs of a constant rms-contrast (35%) were used and we determined their ‘critical’ or threshold-width Wc. Mean retinal illuminances were varied in 13 steps of 0.5 log unit from the low photopic range (screen luminance 0.3 cd/m2) down to 6 log units attenuation, which appeared to be about the absolute threshold of vision under the conditions of our experiment. Moving RPAs were presented at six retinal locations (0, 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48°) from the fovea to the far periphery in the temporal visual field of the right eye of three experienced observers (the authors). In order to ensure an honest comparison between these very disparate conditions, the spatial dimensions (including speed) were scaled according to the acuity, as measured separately for each of the viewing-conditions and observers. Acuity scaling proves to equate the performance for all eccentricities and luminance levels rather well. The fovea is special, but only in the sense that the absolute threshold for light detection is reached earlier than in peripheral regions. In all other respects foveal results follow the pattern found for peripheral locations. Two different regimes can be discerned in the data, one for high and one for low speeds. In the low speed range Wc is almost constant, regardless of luminance level or eccentricity. The critical ‘crossing-time’ Tc for any pixel starting at one end of the stimulus and leaving at the opposite end is therefore inversely proportional to velocity in the low-speed range (time–velocity reciprocity). At medium-to-high speeds Wc increases linearly with velocity, so Tc is constant. This constant (minimum) value of Tc differs between subjects, but in all subjects it increases somewhat with decreasing luminance level, even for our acuity-scaled stimuli. The different behaviour for low and high speeds [reported before for photopic viewing conditions by van de Grind, W. A., van Doorn, A. J., & Koenderink, J. J. (1983. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 73, 1674–1683) and van de Grind, W. A., Koenderink, J. J., & van Doorn A. J. (1986. Vision Research, 26, 797–810)] proves to hold from photopic to low scotopic luminance ranges, provided the stimuli are scaled according to acuity. We draw the general conclusion that movement detection is a very robust process that tolerates extremely low retinal illuminance levels. Moreover, the visual system appears to use the same processing principles in combination with an acuity-scaled architecture under all adaptation states and at all eccentricities.Vision Research 01/2000; · 2.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Under some conditions (dark or light inspection areas) illusory gratings often appear to be in-phase with the inducing gratings and under others (gray inspection area) illusory gratings often appear to be out-of-phase with the inducing gratings. McCourt reported that point-by-point brightness matches reveal only out-of-phase illusory gratings, no matter what the luminance of the inspection area (McCourt, M. E. (1994). Vision Research, 34, 1609–1617). Since the technique used might have led to afterimages which mimic out-of-phase illusory gratings, the present series of experiments was undertaken to determine how such afterimages might bias illusory grating judgments. Afterimages were induced during fixation with brief flashes of inducing gratings within the inspection area (Experiment 1), or by vertical shifts in the entire stimulus which exposed the retina to real gratings prior to judgments within the inspection area (Experiment 2). Experiment 2 was replicated with drifting inducing gratings (Experiment 3). The subjects were asked to indicate whether illusory gratings appeared in- or out-of-phase. The results of all three experiments reveal that out-of-phase illusory gratings predominate, and that afterimages can only bias judgments with stationary displays. It is suggested that grating induction is perceived when subjects attend to local contrast differences, while phantom visibility is facilitated when attention is captured by the more global aspects of the stimulus.Vision Research 10/1999; · 2.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A horizontal grey bar that drifts horizontally across a surround of black and white vertical stripes appears to stop and start as it crosses each stripe. A dark bar appears to slow down on a black stripe, where its edges have low contrast, and to accelerate on a white stripe, where its edges have high contrast. A light grey bar appears to slow down on a white stripe and to accelerate on a black stripe. If the background luminances at the leading and trailing edges of the moving bar are the same, the bar appears to change speed, and if they are different the bar appears to change in length. A plaid surround can induce 2-D illusions that modulate the apparent direction, not just the speed, of moving squares. Thus, the motion salience of a moving edge depends critically on its instantaneous contrast against the background.Perception 01/2001; 30:785-94. · 1.11 Impact Factor