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Psychometric curves of lateral facilitation

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

Visibility of an oriented stimulus may be enhanced by nearby stimuli that are co-aligned with the target. However, the underlying mechanism governing this facilitation is controversial. Here we measured the dependence of percent correct detection on the target's contrast (psychometric curve) with and without flankers, where flankers were either collinear with or orthogonal to the target. We find that the effect of collinear flankers can be described as a translation of the psychometric function along the linear contrast axis. This behavior is consistent, within experimental error, with two types of models: (1) non-linear transduction of target contrast with collinear flankers having additive effects on contrast, and (2) uncertainty reduction (Pelli, 1985) by collinear flankers. We discuss properties of collinear facilitation that can help deciding between these two models.


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