Abstract

The selective suppression of flicker response from LWS cones has been investigated with two approaches. One approach has emphasized the use of light-adaptation conditions, and the other has emphasized the use of dark-adaptation conditions. In both cases, stimuli are arranged to restrict or exceed the ability of adaptation processes to maintain an afferent flicker response, and long-wavelength stimuli are used to overload spectrally opponent processes. By integrating these two approaches, this study shows that diverse manifestations of flicker response suppression can be closely related mechanistically. For instance, the steep flicker TVI slopes that resulted from superimposing temporally modulated (100% contrast) test stimuli on flashed backgrounds corresponded to the disappearance of flicker that resulted from increasing the time-averaged illuminance of temporally modulated stimuli (contrast x<100%) that were flashed alone in an otherwise dark field. For the stimulus parameters of this study, flicker response suppression was more evident for small (19 diameter) than for large (1° diameter) stimuli. However, flicker response suppression was elicited reliably for both sizes by adding a spatially coincident short-wavelength stimulus to the interstimulus interval between presentations of the long-wavelength stimuli. By showing that temporal contrast can be treated as an independent variable for an important set of test/background stimulus combinations, the results of this study make it possible to investigate the means by which changes of contrast gain help to maintain flicker response as assessed in a conventional flicker TVI paradigm. The reduced degree of suppression for relatively large stimuli probably is related to the increased action of spatially extensive contrast gain-control processes. These contrast gain-control processes might not act independently of spectrally opponent processes.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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