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Perceived contrast following adaptation: the role of adapting stimulus visibility

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

The issue of whether contrast adaptation can reduce the perceived contrast of gratings oriented orthogonal to the adapting stimulus to a greater extent than parallel gratings has been the subject of considerable debate (Snowden and Hammett, 1992; Ross and Speed, 1996). We compared the reductions in perceived contrast of various test gratings oriented parallel and orthogonal to the adapting stimulus across a range of spatial frequencies (2.25-9 c/deg) and adaptation contrasts (0.19-1.0). Our results show that when the adapting stimulus is low in contrast, parallel adaptation effects are always greater than the effects of orthogonal adaptation. When the adapting contrast is increased, however, the difference between parallel and orthogonal effects is reduced. Further increases in adapting contrast can produce a situation where cross-orientation adaptation effects exceed iso-orientation effects. This was observed at low spatial frequencies (2.25 and 4.5 c/deg) only. The difference in the pattern of results obtained at low and high spatial frequencies can be explained in terms of the adapting stimulus visibility. We conclude that cross-orientation adaptation effects can be greater than iso-orientation effects, but only when the adapting stimulus is highly suprathreshold.

10.1163/15685680260433878
/content/journals/10.1163/15685680260433878
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/content/journals/10.1163/15685680260433878
2002-11-01
2016-12-06

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