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Yury Petrov, Suzanne P. McKee; The time course of contrast masking reveals two distinct mechanisms of human surround suppression. Journal of Vision 2009;9(1):21. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.1.21.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We explored the time course of surround suppression and found clear evidence for two distinct mechanisms: one strong, transient, and largely monocular, the other weaker, sustained, and binocular. We measured detection thresholds for a Gabor target at 8 deg eccentricity surrounded by a large annulus of matching spatial frequency and orientation. At short stimulus durations surround suppression was very strong, but the suppression strength decreased precipitously for durations longer than ∼100 msec. The strong transient component did not transfer between the eyes and occurred almost instantaneously (<1 frame delay, 12 msec) irrespective of the separation between target and surround. Both suppression components were tightly tuned to orientation, peaking at target orientation, but neither was tuned to target spatial phase. These results are in good agreement with surround suppression properties measured in macaque V1 neurons. The absence of interocular transfer, the strong orientation selectivity, and the high propagation speed incommensurate with slow horizontal connections in V1 suggest that the transient component of suppression originates between input layers and the subsequent layers in V1.
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