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Kunjam Vallam, Andrew B. Metha; The relationship between temporal phase discrimination ability and the frequency doubling illusion. Journal of Vision 2007;7(14):17. doi: 10.1167/7.14.17.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The frequency doubling illusion (FDI) occurs when a low spatial frequency sinusoidal grating is modulated at high temporal frequencies—its apparent spatial frequency increases. A recent study suggests that this illusion is perceived due to a frequency-dependent loss of temporal phase encoding ability. We sought to elucidate the relationship between temporal phase encoding and the FDI by exploring the spatiotemporal characteristics of temporal phase discrimination (TPD) thresholds using a novel stimulus comprising three grating patches presented simultaneously in a triangular pattern. A reference grating was presented superiorly, and six degrees below two gratings (one a copy of the reference) were each randomly presented in one of two fixed positions. The odd grating had abutting regions of spatial half-cycles with alternate half-cycles locked in temporal phase. The temporal phase difference between adjoining half-cycles was varied between 0° and 180° via QUEST staircase—subjects had to identify which lower stimulus appeared different from the reference grating. TPD thresholds were measured for 0.25, 0.50, and 2.20 cpd stimulus at six temporal frequencies (1 to 28 Hz) at 2×, 4×, and 8× orientation identification contrast thresholds. For all subjects, thresholds were variable at low contrasts. At higher contrasts, TPD thresholds increase for 0.25 and 0.50 cpd gratings with increasing flicker rate. These data support the idea that frequency-dependent loss of temporal phase encoding ability could possibly underlie the FDI.
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