Abstract

Temporal summation and its limits were studied at subjective threshold by varying the pulse duration <i>t</i> of (a) constant-luminance pulse changes of wavelength Δλ, and (b) constant-wavelength pulse changes of luminance Δ<i>L</i>. Threshold depends on Δλ and Δ<i>L</i> for pulse durations longer than about 150–300 and 60 ms, respectively. Psychophysical sensitivity to a pulse of wavelength change improved as pulse duration was increased for short pulses, but was unaffected by pulse duration for long pulses. Although there are departures from full temporal summation for pulse durations longer than roughly 20 ms, a formal analog of Bloch’s law <i>t</i>Δλ=constant gives a fair description of the wavelength-pulse data for short pulses. The critical duration for wavelength pulses (<i>t<sub>cw</sub></i>) is much longer than the critical duration for luminance pulses (<i>t<sub>cL</sub></i>) at any given mean wavelength. Although <i>t<sub>cL</sub></i> does not depend on mean wavelength, <i>t<sub>cw</sub></i> is roughly twice as long in the blue-green as in the red. These data bear on the question of what part is played in color vision by the neural encoding of information in the time domain. They can provide fresh empirical tests of current theories of color vision. The findings are tentatively interpreted (a) in terms of different critical events in Walraven’s luminosity and chromaticity channels; these critical events are supposed to limit temporal summation for luminance pulses and wavelength pulses, respectively, and (b) from the viewpoint that central neural processing plays an important part in (task dependent) summation.

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  1. The term "luminance-vs-time curve" is used throughout to mean a plot of log t·L vs t where t and L are the duration and amplitude, respectively, of a threshold luminance pulse.
  2. A. M. Bloch, Compt. Rend. Soc. Biol. 2, 493 (1885).
  3. A. M. Blondel and J. Rey, J. Phys. 1, 530 (1911).
  4. H. W. Karn, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 360 (1936).
  5. C. H. Graham and E. H. Kemp, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 635 (1937).
  6. C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 229 (1935).
  7. R. O. Rouse, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 626 (1952).
  8. H. G. Sperling and C. L. Jolliffe, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 191 (1965).
  9. Y. Galifret and H. Pieron, Année Psychol. 43–44, 231 (1947).
  10. M. M. Connors, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 958 (1970).
  11. H. K. Hartline, J. Cellular Comp. Physiol. 5, 229 (1934).
  12. S. Hecht, J. Gen. Physiol. 18, 767 (1935).
  13. W. S. Battersby and H. Schuckman, Vision Res. 10, 263 (1970).
  14. W. R. Garner and G. A. Miller, J. Exptl. Psychol. 37, 293 (1947).
  15. J. L. Zacks, Science 170, 197 (1970).
  16. D. Kahneman and J. J. Norman, J. Exptl. Psychol. 68, 215 (1964).
  17. R. M. Boynton, in Sensory Communication, edited by W. A. Rosenblith (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1961), pp. 739–756.
  18. K. N. Leibovic, in Information Processing in the Nervous System, edited by K. N. Leibovic (Springer, New York, 1969), p. 175.
  19. D. Regan and C. W. Tyler, Vision. Res. 11, 43 (1971).
  20. R. A. Smith, Vision Res. 10, 275 (1970).
  21. The term "luminance pulse" is used as shorthand for a pulse change of retinal illuminance of a field of a given steady retinal illuminance.
  22. D. Regan and C. W. Tyler, Vision Res. 11, 1720 (1971).
  23. M. H. Siegel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 566 (1965).
  24. P. L. Walraven and M. A. Bouman, Vision Res. 6, 567 (1966)

Battersby, W. S.

W. S. Battersby and H. Schuckman, Vision Res. 10, 263 (1970).

Bloch, A. M.

A. M. Bloch, Compt. Rend. Soc. Biol. 2, 493 (1885).

Blondel, A. M.

A. M. Blondel and J. Rey, J. Phys. 1, 530 (1911).

Bouman, M. A.

P. L. Walraven and M. A. Bouman, Vision Res. 6, 567 (1966)

Boynton, R. M.

R. M. Boynton, in Sensory Communication, edited by W. A. Rosenblith (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1961), pp. 739–756.

Connors, M. M.

M. M. Connors, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 958 (1970).

Galifret, Y.

Y. Galifret and H. Pieron, Année Psychol. 43–44, 231 (1947).

Garner, W. R.

W. R. Garner and G. A. Miller, J. Exptl. Psychol. 37, 293 (1947).

Graham, C. H.

C. H. Graham and E. H. Kemp, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 635 (1937).

C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 229 (1935).

Hartline, H. K.

H. K. Hartline, J. Cellular Comp. Physiol. 5, 229 (1934).

Hecht, S.

S. Hecht, J. Gen. Physiol. 18, 767 (1935).

Jolliffe, C. L.

H. G. Sperling and C. L. Jolliffe, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 191 (1965).

Kahneman, D.

D. Kahneman and J. J. Norman, J. Exptl. Psychol. 68, 215 (1964).

Karn, H. W.

H. W. Karn, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 360 (1936).

Kemp, E. H.

C. H. Graham and E. H. Kemp, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 635 (1937).

Leibovic, K. N.

K. N. Leibovic, in Information Processing in the Nervous System, edited by K. N. Leibovic (Springer, New York, 1969), p. 175.

Margaria, R.

C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 229 (1935).

Miller, G. A.

W. R. Garner and G. A. Miller, J. Exptl. Psychol. 37, 293 (1947).

Norman, J. J.

D. Kahneman and J. J. Norman, J. Exptl. Psychol. 68, 215 (1964).

Pieron, H.

Y. Galifret and H. Pieron, Année Psychol. 43–44, 231 (1947).

Regan, D.

D. Regan and C. W. Tyler, Vision. Res. 11, 43 (1971).

D. Regan and C. W. Tyler, Vision Res. 11, 1720 (1971).

Rey, J.

A. M. Blondel and J. Rey, J. Phys. 1, 530 (1911).

Rouse, R. O.

R. O. Rouse, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 626 (1952).

Schuckman, H.

W. S. Battersby and H. Schuckman, Vision Res. 10, 263 (1970).

Siegel, M. H.

M. H. Siegel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 566 (1965).

Smith, R. A.

R. A. Smith, Vision Res. 10, 275 (1970).

Sperling, H. G.

H. G. Sperling and C. L. Jolliffe, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 191 (1965).

Tyler, C. W.

D. Regan and C. W. Tyler, Vision. Res. 11, 43 (1971).

D. Regan and C. W. Tyler, Vision Res. 11, 1720 (1971).

Walraven, P. L.

P. L. Walraven and M. A. Bouman, Vision Res. 6, 567 (1966)

Zacks, J. L.

J. L. Zacks, Science 170, 197 (1970).

Other (24)

The term "luminance-vs-time curve" is used throughout to mean a plot of log t·L vs t where t and L are the duration and amplitude, respectively, of a threshold luminance pulse.

A. M. Bloch, Compt. Rend. Soc. Biol. 2, 493 (1885).

A. M. Blondel and J. Rey, J. Phys. 1, 530 (1911).

H. W. Karn, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 360 (1936).

C. H. Graham and E. H. Kemp, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 635 (1937).

C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 229 (1935).

R. O. Rouse, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 626 (1952).

H. G. Sperling and C. L. Jolliffe, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 191 (1965).

Y. Galifret and H. Pieron, Année Psychol. 43–44, 231 (1947).

M. M. Connors, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 958 (1970).

H. K. Hartline, J. Cellular Comp. Physiol. 5, 229 (1934).

S. Hecht, J. Gen. Physiol. 18, 767 (1935).

W. S. Battersby and H. Schuckman, Vision Res. 10, 263 (1970).

W. R. Garner and G. A. Miller, J. Exptl. Psychol. 37, 293 (1947).

J. L. Zacks, Science 170, 197 (1970).

D. Kahneman and J. J. Norman, J. Exptl. Psychol. 68, 215 (1964).

R. M. Boynton, in Sensory Communication, edited by W. A. Rosenblith (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1961), pp. 739–756.

K. N. Leibovic, in Information Processing in the Nervous System, edited by K. N. Leibovic (Springer, New York, 1969), p. 175.

D. Regan and C. W. Tyler, Vision. Res. 11, 43 (1971).

R. A. Smith, Vision Res. 10, 275 (1970).

The term "luminance pulse" is used as shorthand for a pulse change of retinal illuminance of a field of a given steady retinal illuminance.

D. Regan and C. W. Tyler, Vision Res. 11, 1720 (1971).

M. H. Siegel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 566 (1965).

P. L. Walraven and M. A. Bouman, Vision Res. 6, 567 (1966)

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