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Anthony D. D'Antona, Jens H. Christiansen, Steven K. Shevell; Separating monocular and binocular neural mechanisms mediating chromatic contextual interactions. Journal of Vision 2014;14(4):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.4.13.
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When seen in isolation, a light that varies in chromaticity over time is perceived to oscillate in color. Perception of that same time-varying light may be altered by a surrounding light that is also temporally varying in chromaticity. The neural mechanisms that mediate these contextual interactions are the focus of this article. Observers viewed a central test stimulus that varied in chromaticity over time within a larger surround that also varied in chromaticity at the same temporal frequency. Center and surround were presented either to the same eye (monocular condition) or to opposite eyes (dichoptic condition) at the same frequency (3.125, 6.25, or 9.375 Hz). Relative phase between center and surround modulation was varied. In both the monocular and dichoptic conditions, the perceived modulation depth of the central light depended on the relative phase of the surround. A simple model implementing a linear combination of center and surround modulation fit the measurements well. At the lowest temporal frequency (3.125 Hz), the surround's influence was virtually identical for monocular and dichoptic conditions, suggesting that at this frequency, the surround's influence is mediated primarily by a binocular neural mechanism. At higher frequencies, the surround's influence was greater for the monocular condition than for the dichoptic condition, and this difference increased with temporal frequency. Our findings show that two separate neural mechanisms mediate chromatic contextual interactions: one binocular and dominant at lower temporal frequencies and the other monocular and dominant at higher frequencies (6–10 Hz).
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