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Mark Chappell; Mapping a field of suppression surrounding visual stimuli. Journal of Vision 2007;7(10):8. doi: 10.1167/7.10.8.
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The brightness of a small incremental flash was found to be considerably suppressed in the vicinity of a moving visual stimulus (effect size, d, up to 6) and less so around a stationary stimulus. The pattern of suppression was mapped and extended 3.5° away from a stationary stimulus and 10.5° behind, and ahead of, a moving stimulus. A second experiment found that dark flashes appeared less dark in the presence of an inducing stimulus of either polarity. Combined results suggest that perceived contrast was being suppressed, in all cases by an inducing stimulus of lesser contrast, and in most cases by an inducing stimulus of lesser luminance. These findings were compared with a number of recent models of the perception of the position of moving visual stimuli. These assume that in the wake of such a stimulus, at certain retinal or cortical areas, there is a region of neural inhibition and that, preceding them, there is a (bow-wave-like) region of neural excitation. The current findings confirm the inhibitory, but not the excitatory, assumptions in these theories.
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