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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Stephen A. Burns
  • Vol. 22, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 2005
  • pp: 2230–2238

Contextual effects in fine spatial discriminations

Lynn A. Olzak and Pentti I. Laurinen  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 22, Issue 10, pp. 2230-2238 (2005)

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The context in which a pattern is viewed can greatly affect its apparent contrast, a phenomenon commonly attributed to pooled contrast gain control processes. A low-contrast surround may slightly enhance apparent contrast, whereas increasing the contrast of the surround leads to a monotonic decline in contrast appearance. We ask here how the presence of a patterned surround affects the ability to perform fine, suprathreshold orientation, contrast, and spatial frequency discriminations as a function of surround contrast and phase. Our results revealed an unexpected dip in performance when center and surround were in phase and similar in contrast. These results suggest that additional processes, perhaps those involved in scene segregation, play a role in contextual effects on discrimination.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.5000) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision - patterns and recognition
(330.5020) Vision, color, and visual optics : Perception psychology
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics
(330.6100) Vision, color, and visual optics : Spatial discrimination
(330.7310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision

ToC Category:
Form Perception

Original Manuscript: January 7, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: February 24, 2005
Published: October 1, 2005

Lynn A. Olzak and Pentti I. Laurinen, "Contextual effects in fine spatial discriminations," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 2230-2238 (2005)

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