Abstract

It has been suggested that local variations of retinal sensitivity may be responsible for elevating the threshold in pattern-adaptation experiments of the Blakemore-Campbell type. Subjects are unable to scan high-contrast gratings uniformly enough to eliminate this possibility. To control this effect, we performed grating-adaptation experiments under stabilized-image conditions, while both adapting and test targets were moved at retinal velocities determined by the experimenter. By means of an afterimage technique, we also measured the strength of the retinal sensitivity mask that forms under these conditions. Varying the spatial frequency and velocity of the adapting stimulus, we inferred the spatial and temporal properties of the principal mechanism that contributes to the afterimage. We found that the Blakemore-Campbell effect persists at adapting velocities that are fast enough to rule out local variations of retinal sensitivity. More surprisingly, even the clearly visible afterimages that occur at a retinal velocity of 0.1 deg/s seem to have no effect on pattern adaptation. (Sensitivity masking can raise the adapted threshold, but only at adapting velocities slower than normal eye movements.) By manipulating the image velocity, we were able to shift the spatial frequencies of some threshold-elevation curves, but these shifts were not great enough to suggest that velocity tuning plays important role in pattern adaptation.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

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  1. D. H. Kelly, "Motion and vision. I. Stabilized images of stationary gratings," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1266–1274 (1979).
  2. D. H. Kelly, "Visual contrast sensitivity," Opt. Acta 24, 107–129 (1977).
  3. D. H. Kelly, "Motion and vision. II. Stabilized spatio-temporal threshold surface," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1340–1349 (1979).
  4. C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, "On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images," J. Physiol. (London) 203, 237–260 (1969).
  5. R. M. Jones and U. Tulunay-Keesey, "Local retinal adaptation and spatial frequency channels," Vision Res. 15, 1239–1244 (1975).
  6. R. M. Jones and U. Tulunay-Keesey, "Phase selectivity of spatial frequency channels," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 66–70 (1980).
  7. N. Graham, "Spatial frequency channels in the human visual system: Effects of luminance and pattern drift rate," Vision Res. 12, 53–68 (1972).
  8. D. J. Tolhurst, "Separate channels for the analysis of the shape and the movements of a moving visual stimulus," J. Physiol. (London) 231, 385–402 (1973).
  9. L. E. Arend and A. A. Skavenski, "Free scanning of gratings produces patterned retinal exposure," Vision Res. 19, 1413–1419 (1979).
  10. Conversely, if the duration of a transient stimulus is short enough to "freeze" any natural eye movement, then stabilizing the retinal image obviously can have no effect. In the intermediate range of longer transients, the effect of stabilization seems to be variable and difficult to interpret. By comparison, steady-state stimulation is a much more revealing technique for exploring stabilized-image effects.
  11. D. H. Kelly and R. E. Savoie, "A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods," Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).
  12. Samples of our eye-movement data were originally included in this paper, but were subsequently deleted at the suggestion of a referee.
  13. D. H. Fender (personal communication).
  14. J. J. Koenderink, "Contrast enhancement and the negative after-image," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 62, 685–689 (1972).
  15. D. H. Kelly, "Theory of flicker and transient responses. I. Uniform fields," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 61, 537–546 (1971).
  16. D. H. Kelly, "Adaptation effects on spatio-temporal sine-wave thresholds," Vision Res. 12, 89–101 (1972).
  17. The bandwidths shown in Fig. 5 may appear broader than those of Refs. 4, 5, and others, but this is due to a different way of plotting the data. Blakemore and Campbell subtracted 1 from their threshold elevation ratios and plotted the result on a logarithmic scale, whereas we plot the log of the ratio directly.
  18. This effect has been studied in detail by Karen DeValois, "Spatial frequency adaptation can enhance contrast sensitivity," Vision Res. 17, 1057–1065 (1977).
  19. See Ref. 3, Fig. 11.
  20. F. L. Van Nes, J. J. Koenderink, H. Nas, and M. A. Bouman, "Spatiotemporal modulation transfer in the human eye," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1082–1088 (1967).
  21. D. H. Kelly, "Frequency doubling in visual responses," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1628–1633 (1966).
  22. V. Virsu and P. Laurinen, "Long-lasting afterimages caused by neural adaptation," Vision Res. 17, 853–860 (1977).

1980 (1)

1979 (3)

1977 (3)

This effect has been studied in detail by Karen DeValois, "Spatial frequency adaptation can enhance contrast sensitivity," Vision Res. 17, 1057–1065 (1977).

V. Virsu and P. Laurinen, "Long-lasting afterimages caused by neural adaptation," Vision Res. 17, 853–860 (1977).

D. H. Kelly, "Visual contrast sensitivity," Opt. Acta 24, 107–129 (1977).

1975 (1)

R. M. Jones and U. Tulunay-Keesey, "Local retinal adaptation and spatial frequency channels," Vision Res. 15, 1239–1244 (1975).

1973 (2)

D. H. Kelly and R. E. Savoie, "A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods," Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).

D. J. Tolhurst, "Separate channels for the analysis of the shape and the movements of a moving visual stimulus," J. Physiol. (London) 231, 385–402 (1973).

1972 (3)

J. J. Koenderink, "Contrast enhancement and the negative after-image," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 62, 685–689 (1972).

D. H. Kelly, "Adaptation effects on spatio-temporal sine-wave thresholds," Vision Res. 12, 89–101 (1972).

N. Graham, "Spatial frequency channels in the human visual system: Effects of luminance and pattern drift rate," Vision Res. 12, 53–68 (1972).

1971 (1)

1969 (1)

C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, "On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images," J. Physiol. (London) 203, 237–260 (1969).

1967 (1)

1966 (1)

Arend, L. E.

L. E. Arend and A. A. Skavenski, "Free scanning of gratings produces patterned retinal exposure," Vision Res. 19, 1413–1419 (1979).

Blakemore, C.

C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, "On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images," J. Physiol. (London) 203, 237–260 (1969).

Bouman, M. A.

Campbell, F. W.

C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, "On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images," J. Physiol. (London) 203, 237–260 (1969).

DeValois, Karen

This effect has been studied in detail by Karen DeValois, "Spatial frequency adaptation can enhance contrast sensitivity," Vision Res. 17, 1057–1065 (1977).

Fender, D. H.

D. H. Fender (personal communication).

Graham, N.

N. Graham, "Spatial frequency channels in the human visual system: Effects of luminance and pattern drift rate," Vision Res. 12, 53–68 (1972).

Jones, R. M.

R. M. Jones and U. Tulunay-Keesey, "Phase selectivity of spatial frequency channels," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 66–70 (1980).

R. M. Jones and U. Tulunay-Keesey, "Local retinal adaptation and spatial frequency channels," Vision Res. 15, 1239–1244 (1975).

Kelly, D. H.

D. H. Kelly, "Motion and vision. II. Stabilized spatio-temporal threshold surface," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1340–1349 (1979).

D. H. Kelly, "Motion and vision. I. Stabilized images of stationary gratings," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1266–1274 (1979).

D. H. Kelly, "Visual contrast sensitivity," Opt. Acta 24, 107–129 (1977).

D. H. Kelly and R. E. Savoie, "A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods," Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).

D. H. Kelly, "Adaptation effects on spatio-temporal sine-wave thresholds," Vision Res. 12, 89–101 (1972).

D. H. Kelly, "Theory of flicker and transient responses. I. Uniform fields," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 61, 537–546 (1971).

D. H. Kelly, "Frequency doubling in visual responses," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1628–1633 (1966).

Koenderink, J. J.

Laurinen, P.

V. Virsu and P. Laurinen, "Long-lasting afterimages caused by neural adaptation," Vision Res. 17, 853–860 (1977).

Nas, H.

Savoie, R. E.

D. H. Kelly and R. E. Savoie, "A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods," Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).

Skavenski, A. A.

L. E. Arend and A. A. Skavenski, "Free scanning of gratings produces patterned retinal exposure," Vision Res. 19, 1413–1419 (1979).

Tolhurst, D. J.

D. J. Tolhurst, "Separate channels for the analysis of the shape and the movements of a moving visual stimulus," J. Physiol. (London) 231, 385–402 (1973).

Tulunay-Keesey, U.

R. M. Jones and U. Tulunay-Keesey, "Phase selectivity of spatial frequency channels," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 66–70 (1980).

R. M. Jones and U. Tulunay-Keesey, "Local retinal adaptation and spatial frequency channels," Vision Res. 15, 1239–1244 (1975).

Van Nes, F. L.

Virsu, V.

V. Virsu and P. Laurinen, "Long-lasting afterimages caused by neural adaptation," Vision Res. 17, 853–860 (1977).

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (7)

J. Physiol. (2)

D. J. Tolhurst, "Separate channels for the analysis of the shape and the movements of a moving visual stimulus," J. Physiol. (London) 231, 385–402 (1973).

C. Blakemore and F. W. Campbell, "On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images," J. Physiol. (London) 203, 237–260 (1969).

Opt. Acta (1)

D. H. Kelly, "Visual contrast sensitivity," Opt. Acta 24, 107–129 (1977).

Percept. Psychophys. (1)

D. H. Kelly and R. E. Savoie, "A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods," Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).

Vision Res. (6)

L. E. Arend and A. A. Skavenski, "Free scanning of gratings produces patterned retinal exposure," Vision Res. 19, 1413–1419 (1979).

R. M. Jones and U. Tulunay-Keesey, "Local retinal adaptation and spatial frequency channels," Vision Res. 15, 1239–1244 (1975).

D. H. Kelly, "Adaptation effects on spatio-temporal sine-wave thresholds," Vision Res. 12, 89–101 (1972).

N. Graham, "Spatial frequency channels in the human visual system: Effects of luminance and pattern drift rate," Vision Res. 12, 53–68 (1972).

This effect has been studied in detail by Karen DeValois, "Spatial frequency adaptation can enhance contrast sensitivity," Vision Res. 17, 1057–1065 (1977).

V. Virsu and P. Laurinen, "Long-lasting afterimages caused by neural adaptation," Vision Res. 17, 853–860 (1977).

Other (5)

See Ref. 3, Fig. 11.

The bandwidths shown in Fig. 5 may appear broader than those of Refs. 4, 5, and others, but this is due to a different way of plotting the data. Blakemore and Campbell subtracted 1 from their threshold elevation ratios and plotted the result on a logarithmic scale, whereas we plot the log of the ratio directly.

Conversely, if the duration of a transient stimulus is short enough to "freeze" any natural eye movement, then stabilizing the retinal image obviously can have no effect. In the intermediate range of longer transients, the effect of stabilization seems to be variable and difficult to interpret. By comparison, steady-state stimulation is a much more revealing technique for exploring stabilized-image effects.

Samples of our eye-movement data were originally included in this paper, but were subsequently deleted at the suggestion of a referee.

D. H. Fender (personal communication).

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