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Georgie Powell, Petroc Sumner, James J. Harrison, Aline Bompas; Interaction between contours and eye movements in the perception of afterimages: A test of the signal ambiguity theory. Journal of Vision 2016;16(7):16. doi: 10.1167/16.7.16.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
An intriguing property of afterimages is that conscious experience can be strong, weak, or absent following identical stimulus adaptation. Previously we suggested that postadaptation retinal signals are inherently ambiguous, and therefore the perception they evoke is strongly influenced by cues that increase or decrease the likelihood that they represent real objects (the signal ambiguity theory). Here we provide a more definitive test of this theory using two cues previously found to influence afterimage perception in opposite ways and plausibly at separate loci of action. However, by manipulating both cues simultaneously, we found that their effects interacted, consistent with the idea that they affect the same process of object interpretation rather than being independent influences. These findings bring contextual influences on afterimages into more general theories of cue combination, and we suggest that afterimage perception should be considered alongside other areas of vision science where cues are found to interact in their influence on perception.
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