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Stuart Anstis; Contour adaptation. Journal of Vision 2013;13(2):25. doi: 10.1167/13.2.25.
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It is known that adaptation to a disk that flickers between black and white at 3–8 Hz on a gray surround renders invisible a congruent gray test disk viewed afterwards. This is contrast adaptation. We now report that adapting simply to the flickering circular outline of the disk can have the same effect. We call this “contour adaptation.” This adaptation does not transfer interocularly, and apparently applies only to luminance, not color. One can adapt selectively to only some of the contours in a display, making only these contours temporarily invisible. For instance, a plaid comprises a vertical grating superimposed on a horizontal grating. If one first adapts to appropriate flickering vertical lines, the vertical components of the plaid disappears and it looks like a horizontal grating. Also, we simulated a Cornsweet (1970) edge, and we selectively adapted out the subjective and objective contours of a Kanisza (1976) subjective square. By temporarily removing edges, contour adaptation offers a new technique to study the role of visual edges, and it demonstrates how brightness information is concentrated in edges and propagates from them as it fills in surfaces.
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