Abstract

This study of form vision explores the relationships between orientation and spatial frequency in suprathreshold discrimination tasks. Orientation discrimination thresholds for sine-wave gratings were 0.3–0.5 deg, much less than the roughly 10–24-deg orientational bandwidth of channels; spatial-frequency discrimination thresholds were 3–7%, much less than the roughly 1.2-octave spatial-frequency bandwidth of channels. We find that spatial-frequency discrimination between two gratings was as acute when the two gratings were orthogonal as when they were parallel. Orientation discrimination between two gratings was as acute when the two gratings had the same spatial frequencies as when they had different spatial frequencies. Thus orientation and spatial frequency are independent dimensions at the discrimination stage of spatial information processing.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

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  1. G. Westheimer, “Visual hyperacuity,” in Progress in Sensory Physiology, D. Ottoson and et al., eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1981), Vol. 1, pp. 1–30.
    [Crossref]
  2. D. Regan, “Visual information channeling in normal and disordered vision,” Psychol. Rev. 89, 407–444 (1982).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  3. W. Richards, “Quantifying sensory channels: generalizing colorimetry to orientation and texture, touch, and tones,” Sensory Processes 3, 207–229 (1979).
    [PubMed]
  4. Independence of operation is compatible with overlapping sensitivities as, for example, with the three-color subunit channels.
  5. O. Braddick, F. W. Campbell, and J. Atkinson, “Channels in vision: basic aspects,” in Handbook of Sensory Physiology, R. Held, H. W. Leibowitz, and H.-L. Teuber, eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1978), Vol. 8.
  6. N. Graham, “Psychophysics of spatial frequency channels,” in Perceptual Organization, M. Kubovy and J. R. Pomerantz, eds. (Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J., 1981), pp. 1–25.
  7. D. H. Kelly and C. A. Burbeck, “Critical problems in spatial vision,” in Critical Reviews in Bioengineering (CRC, Boca Raton, Fla., 1983).
  8. D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, “Visual fields described by contrast sensitivity, by acuity and by relative sensitivity to different orientation,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (to be published).
  9. D. Regan, S. Bartol, T. J. Murray, and K. I. Beverley, “Spatial frequency discrimination in normal vision and in patients with multiple sclerosis,” Brain 105, 735–754 (1982).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  10. D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, “Relationship between spatial frequency discrimination and spatial frequency channels,” submitted to J. Opt. Soc. Am.
  11. K. Ball and R. Sekuler, “Models of stimulus uncertainty in motion perception,” Psychol. Rev. 87, 435–469 (1980).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  12. R. F. Hess, D. C. Burr, and F. W. Campbell, “A preliminary investigation of neural functions and dysfunction in amblyopia. III. Cooperative activity of amblyopic channels,” Vision Res. 20, 757–760 (1980).
    [Crossref]
  13. D. Regan and K. I. Beverly (unpublished results).
  14. D. P. Andrews, “Perception of contour orientation in the central fovea. I. Short lines. II. Spatial integration,” Vision Res. 7, 975–997, 999–1013 (1967).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  15. G. Westheimer, K. Shimamura, and S. McKee, “Interference with line-orientation sensitivity,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 332–338 (1976).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  16. T. Caelli, H. Brettel, I. Rentschler, and R. Hilz, “Discrimination thresholds in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain,” Vision Res. 23, 129–133 (1983).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  17. J. Thomas and J. Gille, “Bandwidths of orientation channels in human vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 652–660 (1979).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  18. F. W. Campbell and J. J. Kulikowski, “Orientational selectivity of the human visual system,” J. Physiol. 187, 437–445 (1966).
  19. J. A. Movshon and C. B. Blakemore, “Orientation specificity and spatial selectivity in human vision,” Perception 2, 53–60 (1973).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  20. C. Blakemore and J. Nachmias, “The orientational specificity of two visual aftereffects,” J. Physiol. 213, 157–174 (1971).
  21. F. W. Campbell, J. Nachmias, and J. Jukes, “Spatial frequency discrimination in human vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 555–559 (1970).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  22. J. Hirsh and R. Hylton, “Limits of spatial frequency discrimination as evidence of neural interpolation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 1367–1374 (1982).
    [Crossref]
  23. C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurons in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,” J. Physiol. 205, 237–260 (1969).
  24. F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,” J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).

1983 (1)

T. Caelli, H. Brettel, I. Rentschler, and R. Hilz, “Discrimination thresholds in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain,” Vision Res. 23, 129–133 (1983).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1982 (3)

J. Hirsh and R. Hylton, “Limits of spatial frequency discrimination as evidence of neural interpolation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 1367–1374 (1982).
[Crossref]

D. Regan, S. Bartol, T. J. Murray, and K. I. Beverley, “Spatial frequency discrimination in normal vision and in patients with multiple sclerosis,” Brain 105, 735–754 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

D. Regan, “Visual information channeling in normal and disordered vision,” Psychol. Rev. 89, 407–444 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1980 (2)

K. Ball and R. Sekuler, “Models of stimulus uncertainty in motion perception,” Psychol. Rev. 87, 435–469 (1980).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R. F. Hess, D. C. Burr, and F. W. Campbell, “A preliminary investigation of neural functions and dysfunction in amblyopia. III. Cooperative activity of amblyopic channels,” Vision Res. 20, 757–760 (1980).
[Crossref]

1979 (2)

W. Richards, “Quantifying sensory channels: generalizing colorimetry to orientation and texture, touch, and tones,” Sensory Processes 3, 207–229 (1979).
[PubMed]

J. Thomas and J. Gille, “Bandwidths of orientation channels in human vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 652–660 (1979).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1976 (1)

1973 (1)

J. A. Movshon and C. B. Blakemore, “Orientation specificity and spatial selectivity in human vision,” Perception 2, 53–60 (1973).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1971 (1)

C. Blakemore and J. Nachmias, “The orientational specificity of two visual aftereffects,” J. Physiol. 213, 157–174 (1971).

1970 (1)

1969 (1)

C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurons in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,” J. Physiol. 205, 237–260 (1969).

1968 (1)

F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,” J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).

1967 (1)

D. P. Andrews, “Perception of contour orientation in the central fovea. I. Short lines. II. Spatial integration,” Vision Res. 7, 975–997, 999–1013 (1967).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1966 (1)

F. W. Campbell and J. J. Kulikowski, “Orientational selectivity of the human visual system,” J. Physiol. 187, 437–445 (1966).

Andrews, D. P.

D. P. Andrews, “Perception of contour orientation in the central fovea. I. Short lines. II. Spatial integration,” Vision Res. 7, 975–997, 999–1013 (1967).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Atkinson, J.

O. Braddick, F. W. Campbell, and J. Atkinson, “Channels in vision: basic aspects,” in Handbook of Sensory Physiology, R. Held, H. W. Leibowitz, and H.-L. Teuber, eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1978), Vol. 8.

Ball, K.

K. Ball and R. Sekuler, “Models of stimulus uncertainty in motion perception,” Psychol. Rev. 87, 435–469 (1980).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Bartol, S.

D. Regan, S. Bartol, T. J. Murray, and K. I. Beverley, “Spatial frequency discrimination in normal vision and in patients with multiple sclerosis,” Brain 105, 735–754 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Beverley, K. I.

D. Regan, S. Bartol, T. J. Murray, and K. I. Beverley, “Spatial frequency discrimination in normal vision and in patients with multiple sclerosis,” Brain 105, 735–754 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, “Relationship between spatial frequency discrimination and spatial frequency channels,” submitted to J. Opt. Soc. Am.

D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, “Visual fields described by contrast sensitivity, by acuity and by relative sensitivity to different orientation,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (to be published).

Beverly, K. I.

D. Regan and K. I. Beverly (unpublished results).

Blakemore, C.

C. Blakemore and J. Nachmias, “The orientational specificity of two visual aftereffects,” J. Physiol. 213, 157–174 (1971).

C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurons in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,” J. Physiol. 205, 237–260 (1969).

Blakemore, C. B.

J. A. Movshon and C. B. Blakemore, “Orientation specificity and spatial selectivity in human vision,” Perception 2, 53–60 (1973).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Braddick, O.

O. Braddick, F. W. Campbell, and J. Atkinson, “Channels in vision: basic aspects,” in Handbook of Sensory Physiology, R. Held, H. W. Leibowitz, and H.-L. Teuber, eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1978), Vol. 8.

Brettel, H.

T. Caelli, H. Brettel, I. Rentschler, and R. Hilz, “Discrimination thresholds in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain,” Vision Res. 23, 129–133 (1983).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Burbeck, C. A.

D. H. Kelly and C. A. Burbeck, “Critical problems in spatial vision,” in Critical Reviews in Bioengineering (CRC, Boca Raton, Fla., 1983).

Burr, D. C.

R. F. Hess, D. C. Burr, and F. W. Campbell, “A preliminary investigation of neural functions and dysfunction in amblyopia. III. Cooperative activity of amblyopic channels,” Vision Res. 20, 757–760 (1980).
[Crossref]

Caelli, T.

T. Caelli, H. Brettel, I. Rentschler, and R. Hilz, “Discrimination thresholds in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain,” Vision Res. 23, 129–133 (1983).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Campbell, F. W.

R. F. Hess, D. C. Burr, and F. W. Campbell, “A preliminary investigation of neural functions and dysfunction in amblyopia. III. Cooperative activity of amblyopic channels,” Vision Res. 20, 757–760 (1980).
[Crossref]

F. W. Campbell, J. Nachmias, and J. Jukes, “Spatial frequency discrimination in human vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 555–559 (1970).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurons in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,” J. Physiol. 205, 237–260 (1969).

F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,” J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).

F. W. Campbell and J. J. Kulikowski, “Orientational selectivity of the human visual system,” J. Physiol. 187, 437–445 (1966).

O. Braddick, F. W. Campbell, and J. Atkinson, “Channels in vision: basic aspects,” in Handbook of Sensory Physiology, R. Held, H. W. Leibowitz, and H.-L. Teuber, eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1978), Vol. 8.

Gille, J.

Graham, N.

N. Graham, “Psychophysics of spatial frequency channels,” in Perceptual Organization, M. Kubovy and J. R. Pomerantz, eds. (Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J., 1981), pp. 1–25.

Hess, R. F.

R. F. Hess, D. C. Burr, and F. W. Campbell, “A preliminary investigation of neural functions and dysfunction in amblyopia. III. Cooperative activity of amblyopic channels,” Vision Res. 20, 757–760 (1980).
[Crossref]

Hilz, R.

T. Caelli, H. Brettel, I. Rentschler, and R. Hilz, “Discrimination thresholds in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain,” Vision Res. 23, 129–133 (1983).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Hirsh, J.

Hylton, R.

Jukes, J.

Kelly, D. H.

D. H. Kelly and C. A. Burbeck, “Critical problems in spatial vision,” in Critical Reviews in Bioengineering (CRC, Boca Raton, Fla., 1983).

Kulikowski, J. J.

F. W. Campbell and J. J. Kulikowski, “Orientational selectivity of the human visual system,” J. Physiol. 187, 437–445 (1966).

McKee, S.

Movshon, J. A.

J. A. Movshon and C. B. Blakemore, “Orientation specificity and spatial selectivity in human vision,” Perception 2, 53–60 (1973).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Murray, T. J.

D. Regan, S. Bartol, T. J. Murray, and K. I. Beverley, “Spatial frequency discrimination in normal vision and in patients with multiple sclerosis,” Brain 105, 735–754 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Nachmias, J.

C. Blakemore and J. Nachmias, “The orientational specificity of two visual aftereffects,” J. Physiol. 213, 157–174 (1971).

F. W. Campbell, J. Nachmias, and J. Jukes, “Spatial frequency discrimination in human vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 555–559 (1970).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Regan, D.

D. Regan, S. Bartol, T. J. Murray, and K. I. Beverley, “Spatial frequency discrimination in normal vision and in patients with multiple sclerosis,” Brain 105, 735–754 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

D. Regan, “Visual information channeling in normal and disordered vision,” Psychol. Rev. 89, 407–444 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, “Visual fields described by contrast sensitivity, by acuity and by relative sensitivity to different orientation,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (to be published).

D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, “Relationship between spatial frequency discrimination and spatial frequency channels,” submitted to J. Opt. Soc. Am.

D. Regan and K. I. Beverly (unpublished results).

Rentschler, I.

T. Caelli, H. Brettel, I. Rentschler, and R. Hilz, “Discrimination thresholds in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain,” Vision Res. 23, 129–133 (1983).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Richards, W.

W. Richards, “Quantifying sensory channels: generalizing colorimetry to orientation and texture, touch, and tones,” Sensory Processes 3, 207–229 (1979).
[PubMed]

Robson, J. G.

F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,” J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).

Sekuler, R.

K. Ball and R. Sekuler, “Models of stimulus uncertainty in motion perception,” Psychol. Rev. 87, 435–469 (1980).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Shimamura, K.

Thomas, J.

Westheimer, G.

G. Westheimer, K. Shimamura, and S. McKee, “Interference with line-orientation sensitivity,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 332–338 (1976).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

G. Westheimer, “Visual hyperacuity,” in Progress in Sensory Physiology, D. Ottoson and et al., eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1981), Vol. 1, pp. 1–30.
[Crossref]

Brain (1)

D. Regan, S. Bartol, T. J. Murray, and K. I. Beverley, “Spatial frequency discrimination in normal vision and in patients with multiple sclerosis,” Brain 105, 735–754 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (4)

J. Physiol. (4)

F. W. Campbell and J. J. Kulikowski, “Orientational selectivity of the human visual system,” J. Physiol. 187, 437–445 (1966).

C. Blakemore and J. Nachmias, “The orientational specificity of two visual aftereffects,” J. Physiol. 213, 157–174 (1971).

C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, “On the existence of neurons in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images,” J. Physiol. 205, 237–260 (1969).

F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, “Application of Fourier analysis to the visibility of gratings,” J. Physiol. 197, 551–566 (1968).

Perception (1)

J. A. Movshon and C. B. Blakemore, “Orientation specificity and spatial selectivity in human vision,” Perception 2, 53–60 (1973).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Psychol. Rev. (2)

K. Ball and R. Sekuler, “Models of stimulus uncertainty in motion perception,” Psychol. Rev. 87, 435–469 (1980).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

D. Regan, “Visual information channeling in normal and disordered vision,” Psychol. Rev. 89, 407–444 (1982).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Sensory Processes (1)

W. Richards, “Quantifying sensory channels: generalizing colorimetry to orientation and texture, touch, and tones,” Sensory Processes 3, 207–229 (1979).
[PubMed]

Vision Res. (3)

R. F. Hess, D. C. Burr, and F. W. Campbell, “A preliminary investigation of neural functions and dysfunction in amblyopia. III. Cooperative activity of amblyopic channels,” Vision Res. 20, 757–760 (1980).
[Crossref]

T. Caelli, H. Brettel, I. Rentschler, and R. Hilz, “Discrimination thresholds in the two-dimensional spatial frequency domain,” Vision Res. 23, 129–133 (1983).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

D. P. Andrews, “Perception of contour orientation in the central fovea. I. Short lines. II. Spatial integration,” Vision Res. 7, 975–997, 999–1013 (1967).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Other (8)

G. Westheimer, “Visual hyperacuity,” in Progress in Sensory Physiology, D. Ottoson and et al., eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1981), Vol. 1, pp. 1–30.
[Crossref]

D. Regan and K. I. Beverly (unpublished results).

D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, “Relationship between spatial frequency discrimination and spatial frequency channels,” submitted to J. Opt. Soc. Am.

Independence of operation is compatible with overlapping sensitivities as, for example, with the three-color subunit channels.

O. Braddick, F. W. Campbell, and J. Atkinson, “Channels in vision: basic aspects,” in Handbook of Sensory Physiology, R. Held, H. W. Leibowitz, and H.-L. Teuber, eds. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1978), Vol. 8.

N. Graham, “Psychophysics of spatial frequency channels,” in Perceptual Organization, M. Kubovy and J. R. Pomerantz, eds. (Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J., 1981), pp. 1–25.

D. H. Kelly and C. A. Burbeck, “Critical problems in spatial vision,” in Critical Reviews in Bioengineering (CRC, Boca Raton, Fla., 1983).

D. Regan and K. I. Beverley, “Visual fields described by contrast sensitivity, by acuity and by relative sensitivity to different orientation,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (to be published).

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Figures (2)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Comparison of orientation discrimination between gratings of the same spatial frequencies and between gratings of different spatial frequencies. (a) Filled triangles (fine solid line) are 2 cycles deg−1; filled circles (dashed line) are 5 cycles deg−1; open circles (heavy solid line) are 2 and 5 cycles deg−1. (b) Filled triangles (fine solid line) are 12 cycles deg−1; filled circles (dashed line) are 5 cycles deg−1; open circles (heavy solid line) are 12 and 15 cycles deg−1. Ordinates plot percent-correct judgments on a probability axis and abscissas plot the orientation difference between two gratings in degrees. Data for subject CAB.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Comparison of spatial-frequency discrimination between orthogonal gratings and between parallel gratings. (a) All gratings are 2 cycles deg−1. (b) All gratings are 5 cycles deg−1. (c) All gratings are 8 cycles deg−1. Filled triangles (fine solid line) are for both gratings vertical; filled circles (dashed line) are for both gratings horizontal; open circles (heavy solid line) are for one grating horizontal, the other vertical. Ordinates plot percent-correct judgments on a probability axis and abscissas plot the spatial-frequency difference between two gratings (percent). Data for subject CAB.