OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

| OPTICS, IMAGE SCIENCE, AND VISION

  • Vol. 19, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 2002
  • pp: 678–686

Role of synchrony in contour binding: some transient doubts sustained

Steven C. Dakin and Peter J. Bex  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA A, Vol. 19, Issue 4, pp. 678-686 (2002)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.19.000678


View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (685 KB)





Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


   


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools

Share
Citations

Abstract

The temporal correlation hypothesis proposes that neurons signal mutual inclusion in complex features, such as extended contours, by phase-locking their firing [GrayC. M.SingerW., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86, 1698 (1989)]. Although this hypothesis remains controversial, a number of recent psychophysical studies have suggested that temporal correlation among features can indeed promote perceptual grouping. In particular, subjects are better at detecting extended visual contours embedded within a field of distractor elements when a small delay is present between a cycling presentation of the contour and the background [Nature 394, 179 (1988)]. We have replicated this finding and examined three potentially confounding factors. First, we controlled local density and used more curved contours composed of bandpass elements to confirm that the effect was associated with contour integration and not with the operation of coarse-scale spatial filters. Second, we minimized the effects of saccadic eye movements (which could combine with the flicker of the asynchronous display to introduce motion cues at the contour location) both by using a fixation marker that was visible only when observers made a saccade (allowing them to reject these trials) and by retinally stabilizing the stimulus. We report that eye movements contribute to the effect. Third, we asked if either visible persistence or transients at the onset and the offset of the asynchronous stimuli might contribute to the effect. We report that the effect is largely abolished by the inclusion of prestimulus and poststimulus masks and is entirely abolished by ramping the contrast of the stimulus on and off. Neither ramping, masking, nor stabilization should specifically disrupt a contour-binding scheme based on temporal synchrony, and we conclude that it is the transient component at the onset and the offset of these stimuli that is responsible for the reported advantage for asynchronous presentation.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.5000) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision - patterns and recognition
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics

History
Original Manuscript: August 2, 2001
Revised Manuscript: September 24, 2001
Manuscript Accepted: September 19, 2001
Published: April 1, 2002

Citation
Steven C. Dakin and Peter J. Bex, "Role of synchrony in contour binding: some transient doubts sustained," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 678-686 (2002)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-19-4-678


Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  

References

  1. C. M. Gray, W. Singer, “Stimulus-specific neuronal oscillations in orientation columns of cat visual cortex,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86, 1698–1702 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. P. Milner, “A model for visual shape recognition,” Psychol. Rev. 81, 521–535 (1974). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. W. Singer, C. M. Gray, “Visual feature integration and the temporal correlation hypothesis,” Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 18, 555–586 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. C. von der Malsburg, in Models of Neural Networks II, E. Domany, J. L. van Hemmen, K. Schulten, eds. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1981).
  5. G. M. Ghose, R. D. Freeman, “Oscillatory discharge in the visual system: does it have a functional role?” J. Neurophysiol. 68, 1558–1574 (1992). [PubMed]
  6. M. N. Shadlen, J. A. Movshon, “Synchrony unbound: a critical evaluation of the temporal binding hypothesis,” Neuron 24, 67–77, 111–125 (1999). [CrossRef]
  7. S. H. Lee, R. Blake, “Visual form created solely from temporal structure,” Science 284, 1165–1168 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. E. H. Adelson, H. Farid, “Filtering reveals form in temporally structured displays,” Science 286, 2231a (1999). [CrossRef]
  9. U. Leonards, W. Singer, M. Fahle, “The influence of temporal phase differences on texture segmentation,” Vision Res. 36, 2689–2697 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. D. C. Kiper, K. R. Gegenfurtner, J. A. Movshon, “Cortical oscillatory responses do not affect visual segmentation,” Vision Res. 36, 539–544 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. M. Usher, N. Donnelly, “Visual synchrony affects binding and segmentation in perception,” Nature (London) 394, 179–182 (1998). [CrossRef]
  12. D. C. Rogers-Ramachandran, V. S. Ramachandran, “Phantom contours: selective stimulation of the magnocellular pathways in man,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. Suppl. 32, 1034 (1991).
  13. M. Fahle, “Figure–ground discrimination from temporal information,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 254, 199–203 (1993). [CrossRef]
  14. D. J. Field, A. Hayes, R. F. Hess, “Contour integration by the human visual system: evidence for a local ‘association field’,” Vision Res. 33, 173–193 (1993). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. R. F. Hess, S. C. Dakin, “Absence of contour linking in peripheral vision,” Nature (London) 390, 602–604 (1997). [CrossRef]
  16. R. J. Watt, “Scanning from coarse to fine spatial-scales in the human visual system after the onset of the stimulus,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 2006–2021 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. D. H. Brainard, “The Psychophysics Toolbox,” Spatial Vision 10, 433–436 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. D. G. Pelli, “The VideoToolbox software for visual psychophysics: transforming number into movies,” Spatial Vision 10, 437–442 (1997). [CrossRef]
  19. Orientation bandwidths were estimated by constructing an orientation histogram from the image’s Fourier transform; each point in the transform contributes in proportion to its energy. The resulting histogram was fitted with a Gaussian function; the FWHH bandwidth was 2.35× the σ parameter of this function.
  20. S. C. Dakin, R. F. Hess, “Spatial-frequency tuning of visual contour integration,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 1486–1499 (1998). [CrossRef]
  21. S. C. Dakin, R. F. Hess, “Contour integration and scale combination processes in visual edge detection,” Spatial Vision 12, 309–327 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. W. H. A. Beaudot, “Role of onset asynchrony in contour integration,” Vision Res. 42, 1–9 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited