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Frédéric Devinck, Kenneth Knoblauch; A common signal detection model accounts for both perception and discrimination of the watercolor effect. Journal of Vision 2012;12(3):19. doi: 10.1167/12.3.19.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Establishing the relation between perception and discrimination is a fundamental objective in psychophysics, with the goal of characterizing the neural mechanisms mediating perception. Here, we show that a procedure for estimating a perceptual scale based on a signal detection model also predicts discrimination performance. We use a recently developed procedure, Maximum Likelihood Difference Scaling (MLDS), to measure the perceptual strength of a long-range, color, filling-in phenomenon, the Watercolor Effect (WCE), as a function of the luminance ratio between the two components of its generating contour. MLDS is based on an equal-variance, Gaussian, signal detection model and yields a perceptual scale with interval properties. The strength of the fill-in percept increased 10–15 times the estimate of the internal noise level for a 3-fold increase in the luminance ratio. Each observer's estimated scale predicted discrimination performance in a subsequent paired-comparison task. A common signal detection model accounts for both the appearance and discrimination data. Since signal detection theory provides a common metric for relating discrimination performance and neural response, the results have implications for comparing perceptual and neural response functions.
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