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Visual discrimination of simple geometrical patterns: I. Measurements for multiple element stimuli

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

We describe a method for the measurement of visual discrimination between simple patterns. The target to be discriminated is embedded in a background consisting of multiple, randomly positioned but identical elements, and is distinguished by a single parameter such as magnification or relative rotation. The positions of the target and background elements are varied randomly between presentations and discrimination for different values of the target parameter is measured in terms of the time taken for detection of the target. Using this method, we have studied discrimination of rotation and of magnification for simple pattern elements such as lines, triangles and squares. The results for rotation discrimination are interpreted as evidence for the activity of two discrimination mechanisms, one sensitive to the orientation of the lines from which the pattern elements are constructed and the other to the orientation of the pattern element relative to the visual field.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physics (Biophysics) and Pure and Applied Biology, Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ, UK


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