Abstract

Threshold energy of foveal, 2-msec white test flashes was plotted as a function of their timing with respect to sinusoidal fluctuations of nearly achromatic background light. With frequencies of 3.1–10 Hz, modulation near 100%, and peak retinal illuminance of 1280 td, the resulting masking curves are non-sinusoidal. Threshold maxima precede background maxima, whereas threshold minima coincide with background minima. The phase lead of the threshold maxima increases with frequency, but tends to stabilize at about 90° above 5 Hz. Maximal and minimal threshold energies also increase with frequency, but their ratio is nearly constant between 3.1 and 8 Hz. Steady light added to the 1280-td fluctuation elevates threshold minima, but often lowers maxima, and introduces secondary maxima that accompany decrements of background luminance. Generally, thresholds are higher with fluctuating backgrounds than with peak-equivalent steady backgrounds. The data for 1280-td and 128-td fluctuations confirm that masking is a nonlinear function of modulated background luminance, and suggest the presence of unidirectional rate sensitivity. Of several possible physiological correlates discussed, ganglion-cell discharge patterns are most nearly compatible with the masking curves.

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  29. R. G. deVoe, H. Ripps, and H. G. Vaughan, Jr., Vision Res. 8, 135 (1968).
  30. G. W. Hughes and L. Maffei, J. Neurophysiol. 29, 333 (1966).
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Alpern, M.

M. Alpern and W. A. H. Rushton, J. Physiol. (London) 189, 519 (1967).

Boynton, R. M.

R. M. Boynton and G. L. Kandel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 47, 275 (1957).

R. M. Boynton, J. F. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 196 (1961).

Cervetto, L.

L. Cervetto, Arch. Ital. Biol. 106, 194 (1968).

Cleland, B.

B. Cleland and C. Enroth-Cugell, Acta Physiol. Scand. 68, 365 (1966).

Clynes, M.

M. Clynes, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 92, 946 (1961).

M. Clynes, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 98, 806 (1962). Also see Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 156, Art. 2 (1969).

M. Clynes, M. Kohn, and K. Lifshitz, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 112, 468 (1964).

Cone, R. A.

R. A. Cone, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 30, 483 (1965).

deLange, H.

H. deLange, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 44, 380 (1954).

H. deLange, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 48, 777 (1958).

deVoe, R. G.

R. G. deVoe, H. Ripps, and H. G. Vaughan, Jr., Vision Res. 8, 135 (1968).

Dowling, J. E.

J. E. Dowling, Science 155, 273 (1967).

Enroth-Cugell, C.

C. Enroth-Cugell and J. G. Robson, J. Physiol. (London) 187, 517 (1966).

B. Cleland and C. Enroth-Cugell, Acta Physiol. Scand. 68, 365 (1966).

Fuortes, M. G. F.

M. G. F. Fuortes and A. L. Hodgkin, J. Physiol. (London) 172, 239 (1964).

Gouras, P.

P. Gouras and R. D. Gunkel, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 137 (1964).

Granit, R.

R. Granit, Receptors and Sensory Perception (Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1955), Ch. 5, p. 160.

R. Granit, Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (Hafner Publishing Co., N. Y., 1963), Ch. 8, p. 145.

Grüsser, O.-J.

W. Rackensperger and O.-J. Grüsser, Experientia 22, 192 (1966).

Gunkel, R. D.

P. Gouras and R. D. Gunkel, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 137 (1964).

Hodgkin, A. L.

M. G. F. Fuortes and A. L. Hodgkin, J. Physiol. (London) 172, 239 (1964).

Hughes, G. W.

G. W. Hughes and L. Maffei, J. Neurophysiol. 29, 333 (1966).

Ikeda, M.

R. M. Boynton, J. F. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 196 (1961).

Kahneman, D.

D. Kahneman, Psychol. Bull. 70, 404 (1968).

Kandel, G. L.

R. M. Boynton and G. L. Kandel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 47, 275 (1957).

Kelly, D. H.

D. H. Kelly, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 422 (1961).

D. H. Kelly, Doc. Ophthahlol. 18, 16 (1964).

Kohn, M.

M. Clynes, M. Kohn, and K. Lifshitz, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 112, 468 (1964).

Lifshitz, K.

M. Clynes, M. Kohn, and K. Lifshitz, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 112, 468 (1964).

Lunel, H. F. E. Verduyn

P. Stoutenbeek, H. F. E. Verduyn Lunel, and L. H. van der Tweel, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 508 (1964).

L. H. van der Tweel and H. F. E. Verduyn Lunel, EEG Clin. Neurophysiol. 18, 587 (1965).

Maffei, L.

G. W. Hughes and L. Maffei, J. Neurophysiol. 29, 333 (1966).

Matin, L.

L. Matin, Am: J. Psychol. 77, 650 (1964).

Rackensperger, W.

W. Rackensperger and O.-J. Grüsser, Experientia 22, 192 (1966).

Ripps, H.

R. G. deVoe, H. Ripps, and H. G. Vaughan, Jr., Vision Res. 8, 135 (1968).

Robson, J. G.

C. Enroth-Cugell and J. G. Robson, J. Physiol. (London) 187, 517 (1966).

Rushton, W. A. H.

W. A. H. Rushton, J. Physiol. (London) 181, 645 (1965).

M. Alpern and W. A. H. Rushton, J. Physiol. (London) 189, 519 (1967).

Sondhi, M. M.

G. Sperling and M. M. Sondhi, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 1133 (1968).

Sperling, G.

G. Sperling and M. M. Sondhi, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 1133 (1968).

G. Sperling, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 541 (1965).

G. Sperling, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 520 (1963).

G. Sperling, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 3 (1964).

Stoutenbeek, P.

P. Stoutenbeek, H. F. E. Verduyn Lunel, and L. H. van der Tweel, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 508 (1964).

Sturr, J. F.

R. M. Boynton, J. F. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 196 (1961).

van der Tweel, L. H.

P. Stoutenbeek, H. F. E. Verduyn Lunel, and L. H. van der Tweel, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 508 (1964).

L. H. van der Tweel and H. F. E. Verduyn Lunel, EEG Clin. Neurophysiol. 18, 587 (1965).

L. H. van der Tweel, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 89, 829 (1961).

Vaughan, Jr., H. G.

R. G. deVoe, H. Ripps, and H. G. Vaughan, Jr., Vision Res. 8, 135 (1968).

Westheimer, G.

G. Westheimer, Vision Res. 6, 669 (1966).

Other (33)

G. Sperling, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 3 (1964).

P. Gouras and R. D. Gunkel, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 137 (1964).

B. Cleland and C. Enroth-Cugell, Acta Physiol. Scand. 68, 365 (1966).

W. Rackensperger and O.-J. Grüsser, Experientia 22, 192 (1966).

L. H. van der Tweel, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 89, 829 (1961).

L. H. van der Tweel and H. F. E. Verduyn Lunel, EEG Clin. Neurophysiol. 18, 587 (1965).

M. Clynes, M. Kohn, and K. Lifshitz, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 112, 468 (1964).

D. Kahneman, Psychol. Bull. 70, 404 (1968).

G. Sperling, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 541 (1965).

R. M. Boynton, J. F. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 196 (1961).

M. Alpern and W. A. H. Rushton, J. Physiol. (London) 189, 519 (1967).

H. deLange, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 44, 380 (1954).

H. deLange, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 48, 777 (1958).

G. Sperling and M. M. Sondhi, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 1133 (1968).

G. Sperling, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 520 (1963).

D. H. Kelly, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 422 (1961).

D. H. Kelly, Doc. Ophthahlol. 18, 16 (1964).

L. Matin, Am: J. Psychol. 77, 650 (1964).

G. Westheimer, Vision Res. 6, 669 (1966).

R. M. Boynton and G. L. Kandel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 47, 275 (1957).

R. Granit, Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (Hafner Publishing Co., N. Y., 1963), Ch. 8, p. 145.

M. G. F. Fuortes and A. L. Hodgkin, J. Physiol. (London) 172, 239 (1964).

W. A. H. Rushton, J. Physiol. (London) 181, 645 (1965).

R. A. Cone, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 30, 483 (1965).

J. E. Dowling, Science 155, 273 (1967).

L. Cervetto, Arch. Ital. Biol. 106, 194 (1968).

R. Granit, Receptors and Sensory Perception (Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1955), Ch. 5, p. 160.

P. Stoutenbeek, H. F. E. Verduyn Lunel, and L. H. van der Tweel, Doc. Ophthalmol. 18, 508 (1964).

R. G. deVoe, H. Ripps, and H. G. Vaughan, Jr., Vision Res. 8, 135 (1968).

G. W. Hughes and L. Maffei, J. Neurophysiol. 29, 333 (1966).

C. Enroth-Cugell and J. G. Robson, J. Physiol. (London) 187, 517 (1966).

M. Clynes, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 92, 946 (1961).

M. Clynes, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 98, 806 (1962). Also see Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 156, Art. 2 (1969).

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