Abstract

A rating-scale psychophysical method was employed to obtain receiver operating characteristics for detection and for discrimination of luminance increments. These curves were used to estimate the parameters of a normal probability-density function which was assumed to describe the relevant internal effects of the test flash. The over-all results strongly indicate that the mean of this distribution is a positively accelerated function of luminance of the test flash, and suggest that the standard deviation is a nonmonotonic function of luminance. It is argued that quantum fluctuations and criterion fluctuations cannot account for these findings, whereas channel uncertainty may be at the root of some of them.

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  1. D. M. Green and J. A. Swets, Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1966).
  2. R. D. Luce, R. R. Bush, and E. Galanter, Eds., Handbook of Mathematical Psychology (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1963), Vol. 1, p. 103.
  3. D. Krantz, Psychol. Rev. 76, 308 (1969).
  4. J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 1206 (1963); 54, 554E (1964).
  5. J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman, Vision Res. 5, 545 (1965).
  6. J. Nachmias, Percept. Psychophys. 3, 151 (1968).
  7. S. Hecht, S. Shlaer, and M. H. Pirenne, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 819 (1942).
  8. J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman [Vision Res. 5, 545 (1965)] reported that ROC curves for discrimination between flashes of high luminance had a tendency to be convex upward when plotted on double-gaussian coordinates. A similar tendency was barely discernible in the data from some observers in the present study, though it was quite pronounced in the data from one observer (J. B.). Her more aberrant results will not be included in this paper.
  9. C. D. Creelman, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 35, 1201 (1963).
  10. J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, and T. G. Birdsall, Psychol. Rev. 68, 301 (1961).
  11. W. P. Tanner, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 89, 752 (1961).
  12. H. R. Blackwell, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 129 (1963).
  13. W. P. Tanner and J. A. Swets, Psychol. Rev. 61, 401 (1954).
  14. B. Leshowitz, H. B. Taub, and D. H. Raab, Percept. Psychophys. 4, 207 (1968).
  15. P. L. Emerson, Percept. Psychophys. 5, 2 (1969).
  16. H. B. Barlow, J. Physiol. (London) 160, 169 (1962).
  17. T. N. Cornsweet and H. M. Pinsker, J. Physiol. (London) 176, 294 (1965).
  18. H. B. Barlow, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 634 (1956).
  19. H. B. Barlow, J. Physiol. (London) 136, 469 (1957).
  20. See also W. A. Wickelgren, J. Math. Psychol. 5, 102 (1968).
  21. R. FitzHugh, J. Gen. Physiol. 40, 925 (1957).
  22. H. B. Barlow and W. R. Levick, J. Physiol. (London) 200, 1 (1969).
  23. J. Stone and M. Fabian, Vision Res. 8, 1023 (1968).
  24. W. W. Peterson, T. G. Birdsall, and W. C. Fox, Trans. IRE PGIT 4, 171 (1954).
  25. C. I. Howarth and G. Lowe, Nature 212, 324 (1966).
  26. G. Lowe, Percept. Psychophys. 2, 278 (1967).

Barlow, H. B.

H. B. Barlow, J. Physiol. (London) 160, 169 (1962).

H. B. Barlow, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 634 (1956).

H. B. Barlow, J. Physiol. (London) 136, 469 (1957).

H. B. Barlow and W. R. Levick, J. Physiol. (London) 200, 1 (1969).

Birdsall, T. G.

J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, and T. G. Birdsall, Psychol. Rev. 68, 301 (1961).

W. W. Peterson, T. G. Birdsall, and W. C. Fox, Trans. IRE PGIT 4, 171 (1954).

Blackwell, H. R.

H. R. Blackwell, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 129 (1963).

Cornsweet, T. N.

T. N. Cornsweet and H. M. Pinsker, J. Physiol. (London) 176, 294 (1965).

Creelman, C. D.

C. D. Creelman, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 35, 1201 (1963).

Emerson, P. L.

P. L. Emerson, Percept. Psychophys. 5, 2 (1969).

Fabian, M.

J. Stone and M. Fabian, Vision Res. 8, 1023 (1968).

FitzHugh, R.

R. FitzHugh, J. Gen. Physiol. 40, 925 (1957).

Fox, W. C.

W. W. Peterson, T. G. Birdsall, and W. C. Fox, Trans. IRE PGIT 4, 171 (1954).

Green, D. M.

D. M. Green and J. A. Swets, Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1966).

Hecht, S.

S. Hecht, S. Shlaer, and M. H. Pirenne, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 819 (1942).

Howarth, C. I.

C. I. Howarth and G. Lowe, Nature 212, 324 (1966).

Krantz, D.

D. Krantz, Psychol. Rev. 76, 308 (1969).

Leshowitz, B.

B. Leshowitz, H. B. Taub, and D. H. Raab, Percept. Psychophys. 4, 207 (1968).

Levick, W. R.

H. B. Barlow and W. R. Levick, J. Physiol. (London) 200, 1 (1969).

Lowe, G.

C. I. Howarth and G. Lowe, Nature 212, 324 (1966).

G. Lowe, Percept. Psychophys. 2, 278 (1967).

Nachmias, J.

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 1206 (1963); 54, 554E (1964).

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman, Vision Res. 5, 545 (1965).

J. Nachmias, Percept. Psychophys. 3, 151 (1968).

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman [Vision Res. 5, 545 (1965)] reported that ROC curves for discrimination between flashes of high luminance had a tendency to be convex upward when plotted on double-gaussian coordinates. A similar tendency was barely discernible in the data from some observers in the present study, though it was quite pronounced in the data from one observer (J. B.). Her more aberrant results will not be included in this paper.

Peterson, W. W.

W. W. Peterson, T. G. Birdsall, and W. C. Fox, Trans. IRE PGIT 4, 171 (1954).

Pinsker, H. M.

T. N. Cornsweet and H. M. Pinsker, J. Physiol. (London) 176, 294 (1965).

Pirenne, M. H.

S. Hecht, S. Shlaer, and M. H. Pirenne, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 819 (1942).

Raab, D. H.

B. Leshowitz, H. B. Taub, and D. H. Raab, Percept. Psychophys. 4, 207 (1968).

Shlaer, S.

S. Hecht, S. Shlaer, and M. H. Pirenne, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 819 (1942).

Steinman, R. M.

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman, Vision Res. 5, 545 (1965).

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 1206 (1963); 54, 554E (1964).

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman [Vision Res. 5, 545 (1965)] reported that ROC curves for discrimination between flashes of high luminance had a tendency to be convex upward when plotted on double-gaussian coordinates. A similar tendency was barely discernible in the data from some observers in the present study, though it was quite pronounced in the data from one observer (J. B.). Her more aberrant results will not be included in this paper.

Stone, J.

J. Stone and M. Fabian, Vision Res. 8, 1023 (1968).

Swets, J. A.

W. P. Tanner and J. A. Swets, Psychol. Rev. 61, 401 (1954).

J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, and T. G. Birdsall, Psychol. Rev. 68, 301 (1961).

D. M. Green and J. A. Swets, Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1966).

Tanner, W. P.

J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, and T. G. Birdsall, Psychol. Rev. 68, 301 (1961).

W. P. Tanner, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 89, 752 (1961).

W. P. Tanner and J. A. Swets, Psychol. Rev. 61, 401 (1954).

Taub, H. B.

B. Leshowitz, H. B. Taub, and D. H. Raab, Percept. Psychophys. 4, 207 (1968).

Wickelgren, W. A.

See also W. A. Wickelgren, J. Math. Psychol. 5, 102 (1968).

Other (26)

D. M. Green and J. A. Swets, Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1966).

R. D. Luce, R. R. Bush, and E. Galanter, Eds., Handbook of Mathematical Psychology (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1963), Vol. 1, p. 103.

D. Krantz, Psychol. Rev. 76, 308 (1969).

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 1206 (1963); 54, 554E (1964).

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman, Vision Res. 5, 545 (1965).

J. Nachmias, Percept. Psychophys. 3, 151 (1968).

S. Hecht, S. Shlaer, and M. H. Pirenne, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 819 (1942).

J. Nachmias and R. M. Steinman [Vision Res. 5, 545 (1965)] reported that ROC curves for discrimination between flashes of high luminance had a tendency to be convex upward when plotted on double-gaussian coordinates. A similar tendency was barely discernible in the data from some observers in the present study, though it was quite pronounced in the data from one observer (J. B.). Her more aberrant results will not be included in this paper.

C. D. Creelman, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 35, 1201 (1963).

J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, and T. G. Birdsall, Psychol. Rev. 68, 301 (1961).

W. P. Tanner, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 89, 752 (1961).

H. R. Blackwell, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 129 (1963).

W. P. Tanner and J. A. Swets, Psychol. Rev. 61, 401 (1954).

B. Leshowitz, H. B. Taub, and D. H. Raab, Percept. Psychophys. 4, 207 (1968).

P. L. Emerson, Percept. Psychophys. 5, 2 (1969).

H. B. Barlow, J. Physiol. (London) 160, 169 (1962).

T. N. Cornsweet and H. M. Pinsker, J. Physiol. (London) 176, 294 (1965).

H. B. Barlow, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 634 (1956).

H. B. Barlow, J. Physiol. (London) 136, 469 (1957).

See also W. A. Wickelgren, J. Math. Psychol. 5, 102 (1968).

R. FitzHugh, J. Gen. Physiol. 40, 925 (1957).

H. B. Barlow and W. R. Levick, J. Physiol. (London) 200, 1 (1969).

J. Stone and M. Fabian, Vision Res. 8, 1023 (1968).

W. W. Peterson, T. G. Birdsall, and W. C. Fox, Trans. IRE PGIT 4, 171 (1954).

C. I. Howarth and G. Lowe, Nature 212, 324 (1966).

G. Lowe, Percept. Psychophys. 2, 278 (1967).

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