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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 58, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 1968
  • pp: 1300–1308

Perturbation Approach to Spatial Brightness Interaction in Human Vision

MICHAEL DAVIDSON  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 58, Issue 9, pp. 1300-1308 (1968)

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The tools of Fourier analysis can be used to explain visual phenomena of spatial brightness interaction provided that attention is confined to small perturbations of spatially uniform fields. A perturbation approach is outlined here, and a transfer function is presented which is appropriate for small perturbations. The transfer function was obtained from human subjects with psychophysical methods, for the case of briefly flashed, achromatic fields at photopic levels of illumination. For the frequency range of 0.005 to 0.15 cycles per minute of arc, the transfer function is roughly proportional to spatial frequency, thus reflecting, in large part, nonoptical properties of the system. A simple mechanism of lateral inhibition could underlie this transfer function.

MICHAEL DAVIDSON, "Perturbation Approach to Spatial Brightness Interaction in Human Vision," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 1300-1308 (1968)

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  39. The average value of Aω at LF's forced-choice threshold for frequenc'es less 0.06 cycle/min is 0.0861; I have taken the forcedcho.ce threshold as the unit of subjective contrast (cf. Table I). The recognition threshold for BM was 1.64 units on this scale.
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  44. Although flashes of less than 500-;usec duration were used here, the results do not imply necessarily that inhibition is effective in such a time. It is possible that the system's excitation persists for some time following the flash, and, since there was darkness both before and after the flash, I can say only that inhibition is fast enough to catch up with the excitation. The negative results of J. Nachmias, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 421 (1967), may be clue to his use of light periods before and after the flash, although his use of square-wave gratings complicates the comparison in other ways.

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