Abstract

A horizontal array of vertically oriented Gabor elements was used to examine lateral masking in the near periphery (1.9°–5.7° eccentricity). Thresholds were assessed for detecting changes in the contrast, the spatial frequency, and the orientation of the central element within the array. The presence of surround elements induced marked threshold elevations that increased in strength as interelement spacing decreased and as retinal eccentricity increased. A model incorporating spatial summation by complex cells and reciprocal inhibition between simple and complex cells is shown to provide a quantitative fit to the data. This model suggests that complex cells analyze highly redundant textures, whereas simple cells function predominantly in the presence of isolated contours.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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