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Mechanisms for spatial integration in visual detection: a model based on lateral interactions

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

Recent studies of visual detection show a configuration dependent weak improvement of thresholds with the number of targets, which corresponds to a fourth-root power law. We find this result to be inconsistent with probability summation models, and account for it by a model of 'physiological' integration that is based on excitatory lateral interactions in the visual cortex. The model explains several phenomena which are confirmed by the experimental data, such as the absence of spatial and temporal uncertainty effects, temporal summation curves, and facilitation by a pedestal in 2AFC tasks. The summation exponents are dependent on the strength of the lateral interactions, and on the distance and orientation relationship between the elements.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NP, UK; 2: Department of Neurobiology The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel; 3: Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung, Bunsenstraße 10, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany


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