Vision Research

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0042-6989
Publications
Article
Brincat and Westheimer [Journal of Neurophysiology 83 (2000) 1900] have reported facilitating interactions in the discrimination of spatially separated target orientations and co-linear inducing orientations by human observers. With smaller gaps between stimuli (short-range effects), facilitating interactions were found to depend on the contrast polarity of the stimuli. With larger gaps (long-range effects), only co-linearity of the stimuli seemed necessary to produce facilitation. In our study, the dependency of facilitating interactions on the intensity (luminance) of line stimuli is investigated by measuring detection thresholds for a target line separated from the end of an inducing line by co-axial gaps ranging from 5 to 200 min of visual arc. We find facilitating interactions between target and inducing orientations, producing short-range and long-range effects similar to those reported by Brincat and Westheimer. In addition, detection thresholds as a function of the co-axial separation between target and inducing line reveal an interaction between the spatial regime of facilitating effects and the luminance of the stimuli. Short-range effects are found to be sensitive to changes in local intensity while long-range effects remain unaffected.
 
Article
To evaluate the impact of intraocular (IOP) reduction on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) function measured using pattern electroretinogram optimized for glaucoma (PERGLA) in glaucoma suspect and glaucomatous eyes receiving latanoprost 0.005% versus placebo. This was a prospective, placebo-controlled, double masked, cross-over clinical trial. One randomly selected eye of each subject meeting eligibility criteria was enrolled. At each visit, subjects underwent five diurnal measurements between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm consisting of Goldmann IOP, and PERGLA measurements. A baseline examination was performed following a 4-week washout period, and repeat examination after randomly receiving latanoprost or placebo for 4-weeks. Subjects were then crossed over to receive the alternative therapy for 4 weeks following a second washout period, and underwent repeat examination. Linear mixed-effect models were used for the analysis. Sixty-eight eyes (35 glaucoma, 33 glaucoma suspect) of 68 patients (mean age 67.4 ± 10.6 years) were enrolled. The mean IOP (mmHg) after latanoprost 0.005% therapy (14.9 ± 3.8) was significantly lower than baseline (18.8 ± 4.7, p<0.001) or placebo (18.0 ± 4.3), with a mean reduction of -20 ± 13%. Mean PERGLA amplitude (μV) and phase (π-radian) using latanoprost (0.49 ± 0.22 and 1.71 ± 0.22, respectively) were similar (p > 0.05) to baseline (0.49 ± 0.24 and 1.69 ± 0.19) and placebo (0.50 ± 0.24 and 1.72 ± 0.23). No significant (p > 0.05) diurnal variation in PERGLA amplitude was observed at baseline, or using latanoprost or placebo. Treatment with latanoprost, time of day, and IOP were not significantly (p > 0.05) associated with PERGLA amplitude or phase. Twenty percent IOP reduction using latanoprost monotherapy is not associated with improvement in RGC function measured with PERGLA.
 
Article
We report a perceptual phenomenon that originates from a nonlinear operation during the visual process, and we use these observations to study the functional organization of the responsible nonlinearity; the regulation of visual sensitivity to light. When the contrast of a high frequency grating was modulated while its spatial and temporal average luminance was kept constant, observers saw brightness changes or desaturation in the field. If the contrast was modulated periodically between zero and a peak value, observers saw vivid flicker (contrast-modulation flicker), and this flicker could be seen even when the grating was too fine to be visually resolved as a pattern. This uniform-field flicker can be nulled by a modulation of space-average luminance at the contrast-modulation frequency, with appropriate phase and modulation depth. Contrast-modulation flicker is still measurable with gratings at 100 cycles/deg. The dynamics of contrast-modulation flicker suggest that it results from an early sensitivity-controlling mechanism, acting very rapidly (within about 20 msec). Its dependence on stimulus spatial frequency implies a strictly local luminance nonlinearity, one that either resides within individual photoreceptors or operates on signals from individual receptors.
 
Article
Humans and monkeys mislocalize targets flashed around the time of a saccade. Here, we present data from three monkeys on a double-step task with a 100ms target duration. All three subjects mislocalized targets that were flashed around the time of the first saccade, in spite of long intersaccadic intervals. The error was consistently in the direction opposite that of the saccade, and occurred in some cases when the target presentation was entirely presaccadic. This is inconsistent with a theory invoking a damped representation of eye position, but it is consistent with the hypothesis that it is due to an error in peri-saccadic remapping.
 
Article
The precision of smooth pursuit eye movements was described by means of a new dependent measure, the "oculomotor difference threshold" (analogous to the perceptual difference threshold) which represents the smallest difference in target velocity that produces statistically distinguishable differences in eye velocity. Oculomotor difference thresholds for constant velocity motions were largest (greater than 50% of target velocity) during the initial 200 msec of target motion, despite fairly high average gains (0.7-1.4) during the same period. Oculomotor difference thresholds declined over time. By about 600-700 msec after the onset of target motion they reached values as low as the perceptual difference thresholds measured psychophysically with the same target velocities. The similarity of the difference thresholds suggests that equally precise sensory representations of target velocity influenced perception and smooth eye movements. Nonsensory influences on smooth eye movement were also found. Smooth pursuit velocity: (1) depended on the velocity of targets in preceding trials; (2) was decreased during the initial 200 msec of target motion when the duration of motion was reduced from 1 sec to 200 msec, a result which shows that high initial pursuit velocity depends on the expectation that pursuit will continue. These effects of context and expected duration allowed the eye to achieve quickly a velocity close to that of the target it was most likely to encounter. Study of the precision of pursuit may be valuable for characterizing its sensory input, but study of the effects of the context in which a stimulus appears and the effects of expectations about future target motion may be more valuable for understanding how smooth eye movements guarantee retinal image velocities optimal for vision.
 
Article
A biologically motivated computational model of bottom-up visual selective attention was used to examine the degree to which stimulus salience guides the allocation of attention. Human eye movements were recorded while participants viewed a series of digitized images of complex natural and artificial scenes. Stimulus dependence of attention, as measured by the correlation between computed stimulus salience and fixation locations, was found to be significantly greater than that expected by chance alone and furthermore was greatest for eye movements that immediately follow stimulus onset. The ability to guide attention of three modeled stimulus features (color, intensity and orientation) was examined and found to vary with image type. Additionally, the effect of the drop in visual sensitivity as a function of eccentricity on stimulus salience was examined, modeled, and shown to be an important determiner of attentional allocation. Overall, the results indicate that stimulus-driven, bottom-up mechanisms contribute significantly to attentional guidance under natural viewing conditions.
 
Article
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disorder with genetic and environmental influences. The genetic influences affecting AMD are not well understood and few genes have been consistently implicated and replicated for this disease. A polymorphism (rs11200638) in a transcription factor binding site of the HTRA1 gene has been described, in previous reports, as being most significantly associated with AMD. In this paper, we investigate haplotype association and individual polymorphic association by genotyping additional variants in the AMD risk-associated region of chromosome 10q26. We demonstrate that rs11200638 in the promoter region and rs2293870 in exon 1 of HTRA1, are among the most significantly associated variants for advanced forms of AMD.
 
Article
All-trans and 11-cis 3-hydroxyretinals were synthesized and the presence of these substances in the head of Drosophila melanogaster was shown by using high performance liquid chromatography. Even when the head extract was prepared in the dark from the flies reared successively in the dark, both of the 3-hydroxyretinal isomers were detected. In the culture medium, they were not present. D. melanogaster must have an 11-cis 3-hydroxyretinal forming-system that does not need light.
 
Article
The antischistosomal drug 1,5-di-(p-aminophenoxy) pentane (DAPP), an inhibitor of rhodopsin regeneration in the vertebrate retina, is shown to completely block the production of 11-cis-retinyl palmitate in the frog eye. An untreated frog generates a large amount of 11-cis-retinyl palmitate during 1-2 days in the dark after a strong bleach. Also, it is demonstrated that DAPP can deplete the stores of 11-cis-retinyl palmitate in the dark-adapted frog eye. The specificity of DAPP's inhibition of dark-adaptation is explored, and the usefulness of employing retinotoxic drugs to investigate the physiology and biochemistry of rhodopsin regeneration is discussed.
 
Article
Small bleaches were used to study the rhodopsin regeneration process. At bleaches from 5.2% to 24.7%, the rhodopsin regenerations were consistent with a one-for-one recovery of bleached molecules. At response saturation rod photoreceptors exhibit a bleach level of only 5%. Major increases in rhodopsin regeneration were observed at bleach levels between 1.3% and 5.2%. The rhodopsin regenerations exhibited a linear relationship that was 4-times the bleach (dark adaptations of 0.75 and 1.5 h). The data show that the bleach initiates the availability, and possibly production, of 11-cis retinal in amounts that are 4-times the number of bleached molecules within the functional range of the rod photoreceptors. Rhodopsin regeneration also requires the presence of opsins without chromophore. Regenerations beyond the bleach indicate the presence of such opsins prior to the bleach. The opsin amounts were 8.1%, 8.6%, 3.1% and 0% of the total visual pigment at dark adaptation times of 0.75, 1.5, 24 and 48 h, respectively. Those opsins, as well as the ones produced by the bleach, may be regenerated to rhodopsin following a small bleach or with additional time in the dark.
 
Article
The newly synthesized 11-cis-7-methylretinal can form an artificial visual pigment with kinetic and spectroscopic properties similar to the native pigment in the dark-state. However, its photobleaching behavior is altered, showing a Meta I-like photoproduct. This behavior reflects a steric constraint imposed by the 7-methyl group that affects the conformational change in the binding pocket as a result of retinal photoisomerization. Transducin activation is reduced, when compared to the native pigment with 11-cis-retinal. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest coupling of the C7 methyl group and the beta-ionone ring with Met207 in transmembrane helix 5 in agreement with recent experimental results.
 
Article
This work was designed to provide an insight into the mammalian visual cycle by investigating the possible function of retinoid-binding proteins in this system, and the distribution and type of 11-cis retinoids present in the interphotoreceptor matrix and the cytosols of the retinal pigment epithelium and retina. The total retinol and retinal in the soluble fractions from these three compartments was 8% (3.31 nmol/eye) of the retinyl palmitate and stearate stored in the pigment epithelium membrane fractions (39 nmol/eye). Only small amounts of retinoids were detected in the rod outer segment cytosol. The insoluble fractions also contained retinol, nearly all of which was found in the retina. The retinoids in the soluble fractions appeared to be bound to cellular retinol-binding protein (CRBP), cellular retinal-binding protein (CRA1BP) and interstitial retinol-binding protein (IRBP, a high-Mr glycoprotein). Using immunospecific precipitation, immunoblot and immunocytochemical techniques it was demonstrated that IRBP was localized in the interphotoreceptor matrix and was synthesized and secreted by the retina, a process that did not require the protein to be glycosylated. The amount of retinol bound to IRBP increased if the eyes were exposed to light, when it was estimated that the protein carried up to 30% of its full capacity for all-trans retinol. In addition to all-trans retinol, IRBP carried smaller amounts of 11-cis retinol. The proportion of 11-cis retinol was frequently higher in eyes that had been protected from illumination, suggesting that IRBP plays a role in rhodopsin regeneration during dark-adaptation. Additionally, endogenous 11-cis retinoids in the retina and RPE cytosols were bound to an Mr 33,000 protein tentatively identified as CRA1BP. The 11-cis retinoid in the retina cytosol was mainly in the form of retinol, while in the RPE cytosol it was mainly in the form of retinal. Substantial amounts of 11-cis retinol were also found in the insoluble (membrane) fraction from the retina. It is suggested that in the mammalian retina 11-cis retinol is generated from all-trans retinol (possibly in the Muller cells). Lack of an 11-cis retinol oxidoreductase in the retina prevents it from being utilized for rhodopsin regeneration until it has been transported to the pigment epithelium, where it is converted to 11-cis retinal and returned to the rod outer segments. It is also suggested that IRBP may be implicated in the transport of retinoids between the rod outer segments, the Muller cells and the pigment epithelium.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
 
Article
Cyclic GMP accumulates in visual cells of rd (retinal degeneration) mice before the onset of morphological pathology. Observations are presented which support the hypothesis that elevated levels of cyclic GMP initiate visual cell degeneration in some early-onset disorders causing blindness. The accumulation of cyclic GMP in rd visual cells results apparently from defective mechanisms that regulate cyclic GMP metabolism.
 
Article
Using the head motion procedure, the apparent distance of a point of light in an otherwise dark visual field was measured under conditions in which oculomotor cues (accommodation, convergence) and absolute motion parallax were varied together and separately. It was concluded that absolute motion parallax is almost as effective a cue to distance as are oculomotor cues from monocular observation, but is not as effective as oculomotor cues from binocular observation. Evidence was also presented that the null adjustment method, used in conjunction with the head motion procedure, provides an unbiased measure of apparent distance.
 
Article
Experiments were carried out to study the visibility of postsaccadic stimuli under the influence of patterns presented at the saccade goal immediately before the saccade. For gratings of 3.2 c/deg an improved visibility was found in the case when the pre- and postsaccadic stimuli have the same spatial frequency. This enhancement effect is also obtained with aperiodic patterns, and turns out to be pattern specific. Dichoptic experiments show that this effect is a central phenomenon. The experimental data can be interpreted as an integration of information about extra-foveal regions of the visual field at the saccade goal with later information obtained by foveal fixation after the eye movement. The results are discussed under the view point of visual stability.
 
Article
To understand better the range of conditions supporting stereoscopic vision, we explored the effects of speed, as well as specific optic flow patterns, on judgments of the depth, near or far of fixation, of large targets briefly presented in the upper periphery. They had large disparities (1-6 deg) and moved at high speeds (20-100 deg/sec). Motion was either vertical or horizontal, as well as either unidirectional or layered in bands of alternating directions (opponent-motion). High stimulus speeds can extend dmax. The effects are explained by models having linear filters that signal both faster speeds and larger disparities. Stereo depth localization can also be enhanced by opponent-motion even when kinetic depth itself is not apparent. Improvements are greatest with wide-field, horizontal opponent-motion. The results imply functions such as vection, posture-control, and vergence may benefit from disparity information enhanced by optic flow patterns that are commonly available to a moving, binocular observer.
 
Article
After an observer views an adapting pattern moving uniformly in one direction for a prolonged period of time, a stationary pattern will-appear to move in the opposite direction. In the present experiments observers inspected spatially periodic, adapting patterns which were moved at different speeds in different experimental conditions. The magnitude of the motion aftereffect which was generated in each condition was measured. There was an interaction between pattern characteristics and adapting speed. For a variety of patterns the temporal frequency, rather than the velocity, of the adapting patterns was the critical determinant of aftereffect magnitude. The psychophysical results suggest (1) that the responses of direction-sensitive analyzers in humans are controlled by the temporal frequency of drifting patterns rather than their velocity, and (2) that the peak response frequency of direction-sensitive analyzers is about 5 Hz under low photopic levels of illumination.
 
Article
The response amplitude of simple cortical cells to spatiotemporal sine-wave patterns has been thoroughly documented in both cat and monkey. However, comparable measurements of response phase are not available even though phase measurements are essential for estimating the complete transfer function of a cell, and thus its spatiotemporal receptive field. This report describes a simple procedure for measuring both the amplitude and the phase transfer functions of striate cells. This technique was applied to 15 monkey and 27 cat simple cells. The spatiotemporal phase response functions were found to be adequately described by linear equations in four parameters. Both the amplitude and phase responses were found to satisfy several strong constraints implied by the class of linear quadrature models proposed recently in theories of biological motion sensitivity. Because the data satisfied these constraints, it was possible to determine four important receptive field properties from the phase data: the spatial symmetry, the temporal symmetry, the response latency, and the spatial position. The receptive fields were found to have a wide range of spatial symmetries, but a more narrow range of temporal symmetries. Spatiotemporal receptive fields reconstructed from complete transfer functions are used to illustrate some of the differences between direction selective and nondirection selective cells. Finally, the effects of linear and nonlinear mechanisms on amplitude, phase, and direction selective responses are considered.
 
Article
The direct compensation method allows for an accurate (standard deviation below 0.05 log unit) determination of intraocular light scattering between 3.5 and 25 deg of scattering angle and is suitable for untrained subjects. The method was used to study population behaviour and individual variation in 129 volunteers between 20 and 82 yr of age, visual acuity equal to or better than one and no apparent eye pathology. The results indicate straylight to increase with the 4th power of age, doubling at 70. In addition to the age dependence, there was great variation between individuals. Part of this is due to negative correlation with pigmentation.
 
Article
Psychophysical experiments done on arod monochromatand a normal resulted in the following: (1) aboverod saturation, the rod monochromat cannot see any test field with her eyes open, but can detect the test by means of discriminable weakafterimages caused by bleaching as little as 10−5 of the rhodopsin; (2) these weak afterimages occur in normals and have the spectral sensitivity of rhodopsin. Analysis of the data implies that the weak afterimage originates in the outer segment but cannot be explained by the usual equivalent dark light hypothesis which accounts for strong afterimages produced by intense bleaches. An alternative hypothesis about the production of the photocurrent is introduced; (3) strong afterimages show saturation. Two retinal regions that received 70 and 85% bleaches appear subjectively identical for the first 11 min. Thereafter one can discriminate the two different bleached areas; (4) saturation indark adaptation is shown in the rod monochromat. After a full bleach, it is impossible to detect any increment on the bleached area until 9 min have elapsed; (5) the last two results are consistent with the hypothesis that the rodphotoreceptor signal remains saturated for many minutes after an intense bleach is turned off.
 
Article
The independent motions of objects in a visual scene are commonly manifest as overlapping retinal motions. A consequence of this overlap is the creation of spurious retinal image features--such as corners and terminated contours--that bear no direct relation to the motions of the objects that give rise to them. To reconstruct object motions, these emergent features must be distinguished from the retinal motions of real object features. This process can be studied using visual stimuli known as plaid patterns, which provide a laboratory archetype for the ubiquitous real-world circumstance of two surfaces with overlapping retinal projections. By adjusting luminance relationships in a plaid pattern it is possible to influence the perceptual interpretation of image features, such that they are seen as either an emergent consequence of occlusion or as real variations in surface reflectance. In the former case, the plaid is most likely to be to perceived as two independently moving surfaces, whereas the latter generally elicits a percept of a single moving surface. This dependence of motion perception on luminance configuration can be viewed as evidence for the involvement of surface segmentation mechanisms, which distinguish between real and emergent image features by promoting a depth-ordered neural representation of surfaces. An alternative interpretation, which does not demand such depth-ordering and feature classification, asserts that the effect of luminance configuration can be accounted for by attendant variations in the distribution of moving Fourier components. To evaluate these two proposed mechanisms, we designed novel plaid stimuli in which surface segmentation cues could be varied independently of changes in the distribution of Fourier components. Perceived motion was found to be highly correlated with the presence of appropriate segmentation cues and uncorrelated with the distribution of Fourier components. These results refute the Fourier components hypothesis, and they support our proposal that surface segmentation plays a critical role in the interpretation of visual motion signals.
 
Article
The photoconversion between rhodopsin (R) and metarhodopsin (MR) was investigated in the retina of Octopus ocellatus by measurements of the fast photovoltage (FPV) in conjunction with high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Following conversion of most of R to MR by short-term exposure to an intense violet light, a large vitreous negative FPV due to photon absorption by MR was observed with an orange test flash. By continuing the exposure to the same violet light, however, the negative FPV became very small, though long-term irradiation with blue-green light produced a recovery. With the violet light exposure a substance other than R and MR is produced, which hardly contributes to FPV generation. Analysis of retinal isomers with HPLC show that such an exposure produces a substance with 13-cis retinal as its chromophore and that it was significantly reduced after exposure to blue-green light.
 
Article
Numerous studies have shown that the power of 1/3 is important in relating Euclidean velocity to radius of curvature (R) in the generation and perception of planar movement. Although the relation between velocity and curvature is clear and very intuitive, no valid explanation for the specific 1/3 value has yet been found. We show that if instead of computing the Euclidean velocity we compute the affine one, a velocity which is invariant to affine transformations, then we obtain that the unique function of R which will give (constant) affine invariant velocity is precisely R1/3. This means that the 1/3 power law, experimentally found in the studies of hand-drawing and planar motion perception, implies motion at constant affine velocity. Since drawing/perceiving at constant affine velocity implies that curves of equal affine length will be drawn in equal time, we performed an experiment to further support this result. Results showed agreement between the 1/3 power law and drawing at constant affine velocity. Possible reasons for the appearance of affine transformations in the generation and perception of planar movement are discussed.
 
Article
In the present experiments three different motion discrimination tasks were studied using a random dot pattern as stimulus: velocity discrimination, direction discrimination and discrimination of opposite directions. The analysis of the motion of random dot patterns is based on motion sensitive mechanisms without the confounding interference of position sensitive mechanisms (Nakayama and Tyler, 1981). Furthermore, since isotropic random dot patterns contain no dominant orientation, a change in the direction of motion does not parallel a change in orientation. Hence the use of a random dot pattern as stimulus allows velocity and direction discrimination to be compared. Human velocity discrimination displays a U-shaped dependence on the stimulus velocity: the JNDs, expressed as Weber-fractions, are minimal for velocities ranging from 4 to 64 deg.sec-1. The Weber-fractions in velocity, determined with a staircase procedure tracking a 84% correct response level, were about 7% at the optimal speeds. The velocity discrimination curve obtained with the random dot pattern is similar to that obtained with light bars. Human direction discrimination, defined as the smallest difference in direction which can be resolved, also displays a U-shaped dependence on the stimulus velocity. Direction discrimination thresholds decrease up to a velocity of 4 deg.sec-1, they then stay at a constant level up to 128 deg.sec-1. Beyond this velocity the thresholds increase again. The mean direction discrimination threshold was 1.8 deg at optimal speeds. Discrimination of opposite directions, determined for the same conditions as those for which velocity and direction discrimination thresholds were determined, was better than the 90% response level at all speeds. However at low contrast, opposite directions are reliably discriminated only at intermediate speeds. Perceiving a coherent moving random dot pattern is supposed to be based on a cooperation between a large number of local motion detectors. In order to evaluate the importance of detector output pooling, the influence of the size of the pattern and of the presentation time on the three discrimination tasks was measured. The results indicate that the pooling requirements are task dependent. A somewhat larger pooling is required for velocity discrimination than for direction discrimination, whereas for discrimination of opposite directions only a few local motion detectors are involved.
 
Article
Humans employ interacting bottom-up and top-down processes to significantly speed up search and recognition of particular targets. We describe a new model of attention guidance for efficient and scalable first-stage search and recognition with many objects (117,174 images of 1147 objects were tested, and 40 satellite images). Performance for recognition is on par or better than SIFT and HMAX, while being, respectively, 1500 and 279 times faster. The model is also used for top-down guided search, finding a desired object in a 5x5 search array within four attempts, and improving performance for finding houses in satellite images.
 
Article
The spatial analysis of a target may be strongly degraded by the simultaneous presentation of nearby pattern elements. The present study investigated the shape and extent of the region of interaction as a function of retinal location. The stimuli consisted of 3 collinear [symbol: see text] s which were randomly oriented up ([symbol: see text]) or down ([symbol: see text]). The task was to discriminate the orientation of the middle [symbol: see text]. The retinal locations studied were at 0, 2.5, 5 and 10 degrees, on the lower vertical meridian and on the nasal halves of both the horizontal and the 45 degrees diagonal visual field meridians. The extent of the interaction region was defined as the separation between the midpoint of two adjacent [symbol: see text] s that resulted in 75% correct discrimination. The shape of the interaction region was determined by using several orientations (horizontal, vertical, left diagonal and right diagonal) for the virtual line joining the 3. [symbol: see text] s. Our results show that the size of the interaction regions varies linearly with eccentricity as does the size of a just resolved individual [symbol: see text]. However, the size of the interaction region varies much more rapidly than does the resolution threshold for an individual [symbol: see text]. The spatial interaction zones appear to be elongated radially, so that they have an elliptical shape. The size of the major axis is about 2-3 times the size of the minor axis. The major axis is along the meridian through the central visual field (i.e. it is oriented radially) while the minor axis is oriented tangentially (i.e. isoeccentrically).
 
Article
We investigated infants' visual anticipations to the target of an ongoing tool-use action and examined if infants can learn that tools serve multiple functions and can thus be used on different targets. Specifically, we addressed the question at what age children are able to predict the goal of an ongoing tool-use action on the basis of how the actor initiates the action. Fourteen- and 20-month-old children watched a model using a tool to execute two different actions. Each way of grasping and holding the tool was predictive for its use on a particular target. Analyses revealed that the 20- but not the 14-month-olds were able to visually anticipate to the correct target during action observation, which suggests that they perceived the initial part of the tool-use action as predictive for its use on an action target.
 
Article
Application of a translucent goggle over the chick eye on the first day after hatching led to the development of myopia. By the 14th day, the mean refractive error was about -10.0 D. Significant increases in axial and equatorial diameters were observed when the treated eyes were compared with untreated contralateral eyes. The lens did not appear to be affected, either optically or biochemically. A temporal study showed that changes were evident within 2 days of goggle application, and were significantly established 5 days later. Total soluble protein concentrations of the treated and untreated eyes were not significantly different, nor were the dry weights of the sclera and cornea. The enlargement of the eyeball that was observed in the experimental induction of myopia seems due to an increase in fluid within the eye. The data are consistent with the view that refractive properties of the chick eye are dependent upon the clarity of the visual image and modulation of these features occurs after hatching.
 
Article
Three experiments using standing wave stimuli with 14-week-old human infants are reported. Two competing hypotheses regarding the detection of these standing wave line stimuli were tested in these studies. Amplitude-based (positional) detection was contrasted with speed-based (motion) detection. Temporal oscillation frequencies of 0.15, 0.30, 0.60 and 1.20 Hz were used. The detectability of a standing wave of fixed amplitude was influenced significantly by the temporal frequency of the oscillation. By inference, the results of the three experiments supported the motion-based detection hypothesis.
 
Article
Here we review recent findings that reveal the functional properties of extra-striate regions in the human visual cortex that are involved in the representation and perception of objects. We characterize both the invariant and non-invariant properties of these regions and we discuss the correlation between activation of these regions and recognition. Overall, these results indicate that the lateral occipital complex plays an important role in human object recognition.
 
Article
Motions within one region of the field influence motion seen elsewhere. To explore this phenomenon we used cinematograms comprised of alternating strips within which dots (i) tended to move in one direction, or (ii) moved in random directions (dynamic noise). When alternating strips were narrow, motion in one direction induced a similar direction of illusory motion in the adjoining dynamic noise (assimilation); when alternating strips were wide, motion tended to induce an illusory opposed motion in the dynamic noise (contrast). Since this illusory motion exhibits hysteresis, it probably results from spatially distributed, cooperative processes. The shift from assimilation to contrast, as the cinematogram's strips increase in size, suggests that facilitatory and inhibitory influences of the network extend over different distances.
 
Article
Most models of visual search, whether involving overt eye movements or covert shifts of attention, are based on the concept of a saliency map, that is, an explicit two-dimensional map that encodes the saliency or conspicuity of objects in the visual environment. Competition among neurons in this map gives rise to a single winning location that corresponds to the next attended target. Inhibiting this location automatically allows the system to attend to the next most salient location. We describe a detailed computer implementation of such a scheme, focusing on the problem of combining information across modalities, here orientation, intensity and color information, in a purely stimulus-driven manner. The model is applied to common psychophysical stimuli as well as to a very demanding visual search task. Its successful performance is used to address the extent to which the primate visual system carries out visual search via one or more such saliency maps and how this can be tested.
 
Article
Li and Zaidi (Li, A., and Zaidi, Q. (2000) Vision Research, 40, 217-242) showed that the veridical perception of the 3-dimensional (3D) shape of a corrugated surface from texture cues is entirely dependent on the visibility of critical patterns of oriented energy. These patterns are created by perspective projection of surface markings oriented along lines of maximum 3D curvature. In images missing these orientation modulations, observers confused concavities with convexities, and leftward slants with rightward slants. In this paper, it is shown that these results were a direct consequence of the physical information conveyed by different oriented components of the texture pattern. For texture patterns consisting of single gratings of arbitrary spatial frequency and orientation, equations are derived from perspective geometry that describe the local spatial frequency and orientation for any slant at any height above and below eye level. The analysis shows that only gratings oriented within a few degrees of the axis of maximum curvature exhibit distinct patterns of orientation modulations for convex, concave, and leftward and rightward slanted portions of a corrugated surface. All other gratings exhibit patterns of frequency and orientation modulations that are distinct for curvatures on the one hand and slants on the other, but that are nearly identical for curvatures of different sign, and nearly identical for slants of different direction. The perceived shape of surfaces was measured in a 5AFC paradigm (concave, convex, leftward slant, rightward slant, and flat-frontoparallel). Observers perceived all five shapes correctly only for gratings oriented within a few degrees of the axis of maximum curvature. For all other oriented gratings, observers could distinguish curvatures from slants, but could not distinguish signs of curvature or directions of slant. These results demonstrate that human observers utilize the shape information provided by texture components along both critical and non-critical orientations.
 
Article
Spatial contrast sensitivity was measured with the normally moving and the stabilized retinal image of sine-wave gratings for exposure durations ranging from 6 msec to 4 sec. Sensitivity increased rapidly for both the stabilized and the non-stabilized image of any frequency as a function of duration up to 50 msec. The rate of increase gradually approached zero as the target exposure was lengthened. The shape of the contrast sensitivity curves was primarily determined by exposure duration. Image stabilization resulted in a decrease of sensitivity to a large range of spatial frequencies only when the target was presented for an indefinite period.
 
Article
Subjects performed a concurrent smooth pursuit and perceptual task to determine whether smooth pursuit eye movements and perception share the same attentional mechanism. Subjects pursued a pair of eccentric rows of moving characters while simultaneously attempting to identify and locate the single numeral in these target rows and the single numeral in a pair of untracked background rows, which moved at a different velocity. Average smooth pursuit gain (eye velocity/target velocity) was 0.7 to 1. Visual search was better for target rows (approximately 65% correct) than for background rows (approximately 22% correct). Superior search performance for the target was not due to its lower retinal speed: performance on the target was 2-3 times better than on the background when retinal speeds were the same. Superior performance for the pursuit target suggests that smooth eye movements and perception share the same selective attentional mechanism. A shared attentional mechanism was further supported by findings that subjects could not: (1) maintain a stable line of sight on a central stationary point while simultaneously attending to moving rows; and (2) pursue one pair of rows and attend the other, untracked rows. Attempts to attend untracked rows did, however, produce a partial improvement in search performance which was accompanied by only a very slight change in eye velocity. This demonstrates that the effects of decisions about how to apportion attention across the visual field depend on the task. Despite the common selective attentional mechanism, smooth eye movements do not provide accurate external indicators of attention unless the consequences of attentional decisions for performance are determined separately for oculomotor and for perceptual tasks.
 
Article
The mouse retina contains both middle-wavelength-sensitive (M) and ultraviolet-sensitive (UV) photopigments that are coexpressed in cones. To examine some potential visual consequences of cone pigment coexpression, spectral sensitivity functions were measured in mice (Mus musculus) using both the flicker electroretinogram (ERG) and behavioral discrimination tests. Discrimination tests were also employed to search for the presence of color vision in the mouse. Spectral sensitivity functions for the mouse obtained from ERG measurements and from psychophysical tests each reveal contributions from two classes of cone having peak sensitivities (lambda(max)) of approximately 360 and 509-512 nm. The relative contributions of the two pigment types to spectral sensitivity differ significantly in the two types of measurements with a relationship reversed from that often seen in mammals. Mice were capable of discriminating between some pairs of spectral stimuli under test conditions where luminance-related cues were irrelevant. Since mice can make dichromatic color discriminations, their visual systems must be able to exploit differences in the spectral absorption properties among the cones. Complete selective segregation of opsins into individual photoreceptors is apparently not a prerequisite for color vision.
 
Article
Human observers fixated the center of a search array and were required to discriminate the color of an odd target if it was present. The array consisted of horizontal or vertical black or white bars. In the simple case, only orientation was necessary to define the odd target, whereas in the conjunctive case, both orientation and color were necessary. A cue located at the critical target position was either visible all the time (sustained cuing) or it appeared at a short variable delay before the array presentation (transient cuing). Sustained visual cuing enhanced perception greatly in the conjunctive, but not in the simple condition. Perception of the odd target in the conjunctive display was improved even further by transient cuing, and peak discrimination performance occurred if the cue preceded the target array by 70-150 msec. Longer delays led to a marked downturn in performance. Control experiments indicated that this transient attentional component was independent of the observers' prior knowledge of target position and was not subject to voluntary control. We provide evidence to suggest that the transient component does not originate at the earliest stages of visual processing, since it could not be extended in duration by flickering the cue, nor did it require a local sensory transient to trigger its onset. Neither the variation in retinal eccentricity nor changing the paradigm to a vernier acuity task altered the basic pattern of results. Our findings indicate the existence of a sustained and a transient component of attention, and we hypothesize that of the two, the transient component is operative at an earlier stage of visual cortical processing.
 
Article
Depth discrimination thresholds are shown to be lowered by up to a factor of 10 when a few reference lines are added to a stimulus containing a single isolated test line. Four reference lines are better than two, which are better than one, and the improvement in performance is greater when the test line lies between the two reference lines in depth. Stereoacuity for the relative depth of a target line, relative to other nearby reference lines, is shown to be insensitive to changes of disparity of the whole pattern of up to about +/- 5 arc min and is only weakly sensitive to larger displacements of up to +/- 10 arc min.
 
Article
We examined the responses to transparent motion of complex cells in cat area 17 which show directional selectivity to moving random pixel arrays (RPAs). The response to an RPA moving in the cell's preferred direction is inhibited when a second RPA is transparently moving in another direction. The inhibition by the second pattern is quantified as a function of its direction. The response to a pattern moving in the preferred direction is never completely suppressed, not even when a second pattern is moving transparently in the opposite direction. To the extent that supra-spontaneous firing rates signal the presence of the optimal velocity vector, these cells therefore still signal the presence of this line-label stimulus despite additional opposing, or otherwise directed, motion components. The results confirm previous suggestions that, for the computation of motion energy in cat area 17 complex cells, a full opponent stage is not plausible. Furthermore, we show that the response to a combination of two motion vectors can be predicted by the average of the responses to the individual components.
 
Article
The characteristics of directionally selective cells in area 17 of the cat are studied using moving random pixel arrays (RPAs) with 50% white and 50% black pixels. The apparent motion stimulus is similar to that used in human psychophysics [Fredericksen et al. (1993). Vision Research, 33, pp. 1193-1205]. We compare motion sensitivity measured with single-step pixel lifetimes and unlimited pixel lifetimes. A motion stimulus with a single-step pixel lifetime contains directional motion energy primarily at one combination of spatial displacement and temporal delay. We recorded the responses of complex cells to different combinations of displacement and delay to describe their spatio-temporal correlation characteristics. The response to motion of RPAs with unlimited lifetime is strongest along the preferred speed line in a delay vs displacement size diagram. When using an RPA with a single-step pixel lifetime, the cells are responsive to a much smaller range of spatial displacements and temporal delays of the stimulus. The maximum displacement that still gives a directionally selective response is larger when the preferred speed of the cell is higher. It is on average about three times smaller than the receptive field size.
 
Article
Cells which respond only to slowly moving bars (velocity low-pass, or VLP cells) are numerous in area 17 whereas they are lacking in the LGN. The suggestion that this preference for low stimulus velocity is linked to the presence of S cells (equivalent of simple cells) in area 17 was critically evaluated by correlating S cell characteristics (subregion overlap, receptive field width and presence of inhibitory zones) with velocity preference. It was found that VLP cells generally respond only to relatively long durations of stationary stimulation and that this need of temporal summation best explains the preference for slow movement in area 17.
 
Article
We have examined the spatiotemporal structure of simple receptive fields in the cat's striate cortex by cross-correlating their spike trains with an ensemble of stimuli consisting of stationary bright and dark spots whose position was randomized on each 50 msec frame. Receptive fields were found to be either separable or inseparable in space-time and responses to moving stimuli were predicted from the spatiotemporal structure of the cell under study. Most simple cells with separable spatiotemporal receptive fields were not direction selective. All simple cells with inseparable spatiotemporal receptive fields were found to prefer movement in one direction. The optimal speed and direction were estimable from the slope of individual subregions observed in the space-time plane. The results are consistent with a linear model for direction selectivity.
 
Article
Several brightness illusions indicate that borders can dramatically affect the perception of adjoining surfaces. In the Craik-O'Brien-Cornsweet illusion, in particular, two equiluminant surfaces can appear different in brightness due to the contrast border between them. Although the psychophysical nature of this phenomenon has been well characterized, the neural circuitry underlying this effect is unexplored. Here, we have asked whether there are cells in visual cortex which respond to edge-induced illusory brightness percepts such as the Cornsweet. Using optical imaging and single unit recordings methods, we have studied responses of the primary (Area 17) and second (Area 18) visual cortical areas of the anesthetized cat to both real luminance change and Cornsweet brightness change. We find that there are indeed cells whose responses are modulated in phase with the modulation of the Cornsweet stimulus. These cells are present in both Area 17 and Area 18, but are more prevalent in Area 18. These responses are generally weak and are found even when receptive fields are distant from the contrast border. Consistent with perception, cells which respond to the Cornsweet border are modulated in antiphase to the Narrow Real (another border-induced illusory brightness stimulus). Remarkably, we also find evidence of edge-induced responses to illusory brightness change using intrinsic signal optical imaging. Both real luminance change and edge-induced brightness change produces a greater imaged response in Area 18 than in Area 17. Thus, in the absence of direct luminance stimulation, cells in visual cortex can respond to modulation of distant border contrasts. We suggest that the perception of surface brightness was encoded in the early visual cortical pathway by both surface luminance contrast signals in Area 17 (Rossi, A. F., Rittenhouse, C. D., & Paradiso, M. A. (1996). The representation of brightness in primary visual cortex. Science, 273, 1104-7) and border-induced contrast signals that predominate in Area 18.
 
Top-cited authors
Dennis M Levi
  • University of California, Berkeley
David J. Field
  • Cornell University
Hugh R Wilson
  • York University
Gordon E Legge
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Christof Koch
  • Allen Institute for Brain Science