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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 16, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 1999
  • pp: 217–222

Distraction of attention and the slope of the psychometric function

Leonid L. Kontsevich and Christopher W. Tyler  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 16, Issue 2, pp. 217-222 (1999)

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The influential uncertainty model [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 1508 (1985)] attributes nonlinear contrast sensitivity near threshold to the inability of the observer to discriminate between the signal from stimulated locations and the noise from nonstimulated locations. We introduce an alternative interpretation, the distraction model, to describe the behavior of an observer who knows exactly which location was stimulated but may miss the test stimulus because attention has been distracted by irrelevant (noise) signals. For any stimulus sample, the observer is assumed to be certain of whether this sample is relevant or irrelevant to the stimulus. The nonlinear effects predicted by the distraction model without uncertainty are similar to those predicted by the uncertainty model.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.5490) General : Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics
(330.4060) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision modeling
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics

Original Manuscript: March 23, 1998
Revised Manuscript: August 17, 1998
Manuscript Accepted: September 28, 1998
Published: February 1, 1999

Leonid L. Kontsevich and Christopher W. Tyler, "Distraction of attention and the slope of the psychometric function," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 217-222 (1999)

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