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Dingcai Cao, PhD, Joel Pokorny, PhD; Rod and cone contrast gains derived from reaction time distribution modeling. Journal of Vision 2010;10(2):11. doi: 10.1167/10.2.11.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Contrast gain reflects the rapidity of response amplitude increase with increase in stimulus contrast. In physiology, contrast gain can be measured directly as the initial slope of cell contrast response function. In psychophysics, contrast gain estimation is not straightforward. Further, rod and cone contrast gains have not been measured psychophysically at mesopic light levels where both rods and cones are active, due to the difficulty in producing stimuli that excite rods and cones separately at the same adaptation level. Here, we estimated rod and contrast gains by fitting reaction time distributions measured at a light level in which rods alone (scotopic), rods and cones (mesopic), or cones alone (photopic) mediate vision. The reaction time distributions were modeled by two different strategies, a simplified diffusion model that assumes a stochastic accumulation process and a model we developed that begins with sensory input based on early visual processing impulse response functions and assumes the reaction time variability originates in the response criterion. Estimates of contrast gain from both models were comparable and consistent with primate physiology measurements.
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