Abstract

We simultaneously measured detection and identification performance by using isoluminant red–green (RG) and achromatic flickering stimuli and fitted these data with a modified line-element model that does not make high-threshold assumptions. The modeling shows that detection and identification data are adequately described by postulating only two underlying temporal filters each for RG and achromatic vision, even when more than two threshold classifications are evident. We use a spatial frequency of 1.5 cycles per degree (c/deg) and compare the derived temporal impulse response functions with those obtained previously with the use of 0.25-c/deg stimuli under otherwise identical conditions [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 1969 (1996)]. We find that at 1.5 c/deg the luminance impulse response functions peak later and integrate out to longer times compared with those measured at 0.25 c/deg. For RG stimuli, although their relative overall sensitivities change, the impulse response functions are similar across spatial frequency, indicating a constancy of chromatic temporal properties across spatial scales. In a second experiment, we measured RG and achromatic flicker discrimination over a wide range of suprathreshold contrasts. These data suggest a common nonlinear contrast response function operating after initial temporal filtering. Using a ratio model of speed perception in which both RG and achromatic filters are combined at a common motion site, we can predict (1) the perceived slowing of RG stimuli compared with the perceived drift of achromatic drifting stimuli, (2) the contrast dependency of speed perception for RG and achromatic drifting stimuli, and (3) how this dependency changes with base speed. Thus we conclude that there is no need to postulate separate mechanisms for fast and slow motion [Nature (London) 367, 268 (1994)], since a unified ratio model can explain both RG and achromatic contrast–speed dependency.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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