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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

| OPTICS, IMAGE SCIENCE, AND VISION

  • Vol. 6, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 1989
  • pp: 106–115

Mechanisms of contour curvature discrimination

Hugh R. Wilson and Whitman A. Richards  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA A, Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp. 106-115 (1989)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSAA.6.000106


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Abstract

Visual processing of contour curvature was investigated by measuring increment thresholds for curvatures from 0.31 to 25.4 deg−1. Curvature discrimination was assessed for three classes of stimuli: simple curved contours, high-frequency bandpass-filtered contours, and low-pass-filtered contours. High-frequency bandpass filtering had no effect on discrimination at low curvatures and only a modest effect at high curvatures. In contrast, low-pass filtering caused substantial threshold elevations at all curvatures. Thus the data lead to the surprising conclusion that high-spatial-frequency, orientation-selective mechanisms dominate curvature processing over the entire range of curvatures tested, a conclusion at odds with previous suggestions that large, low-spatial-frequency filters are involved in analyzing low curvatures. The data are explained accurately by a two-process model for curvature extraction: at high curvatures the local-processing model proposed by Wilson [ J. Opt. Soc. Am. A. 2, 1191 ( 1985)] fits the data well, whereas at low curvatures orientations are compared at points displaced a fixed distance along the tangent to the curve.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

History
Original Manuscript: June 23, 1987
Manuscript Accepted: July 26, 1988
Published: January 1, 1989

Citation
Hugh R. Wilson and Whitman A. Richards, "Mechanisms of contour curvature discrimination," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 6, 106-115 (1989)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josaa/abstract.cfm?URI=josaa-6-1-106

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