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Phase channels and the square-wave illusion

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

We have utilized a phase-sensitive effect, the square-wave illusion, to investigate the presence and tuning of phase-sensitive mechanisms. Subjects viewed a 1 c/deg triangular-wave grating and reported the presence or absence of the illusion, before and after adaptation to square-wave gratings of various spatial frequencies. Illusion strength declined with adaptation and was a function of spatial frequency. This function may reflect the spatial frequency tuning of a 'phase channel'. We have also measured by adaptation a contrast sensitivity function, maximally sensitive to a frequency of 1 c/deg. When normalized to the same maximal depression from baseline sensitivity, the phase channel and spatial-frequency channel shared the same low frequency tuning, but the phase channel was broader, with extended sensitivity to higher frequencies. These results can be understood if the phase channel is constructed from combinations of phase sensitive spatial-frequency channels.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ophthalmology, Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, OH 43205, USA


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