September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
Dynamics of contrast-gain controls in pattern vision
Author Affiliations
  • S. Sabina Wolfson
    Columbia University, Department of Psychology
  • Norma Graham
    Columbia University, Department of Psychology
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 760. doi:
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      S. Sabina Wolfson, Norma Graham; Dynamics of contrast-gain controls in pattern vision. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):760.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Introduction. We are studying the dynamics of contrast-gain controls psychophysically using a probed-sinewave paradigm. In this probed-sinewave paradigm a background pattern's contrast is flickering sinusoidally over time. Threshold is measured for a short-duration probe-pattern superimposed at various phases with respect to the background flicker. The patterns are element-arrangement textures made of Gabor (2nd-order) or blob (1st-order) elements. Effects demonstrated with static versions of these patterns are consistent with a contrast-gain control produced by inhibition among channels in a normalization network (and are not consistent with a number of other models).

The Past. We and others have previously studied luminance-gain controls using a probed-sinewave paradigm with spatially homogenous background and probe. Probe thresholds at all phases increased with the frequency of the flickering background up to about 8 to 16 Hz. These results were very useful in distinguishing among models of light adaptation. These results show little interocular transfer, indicating that the luminance-gain control is very likely to be predominantly retinal.

The Present. In our current contrast-gain-control experiments — using element-arrangement textures in the probed-sinewave paradigm — we are seeing qualitatively different results. We think these new results will have a similar ability to distinguish among models. This time the models are of the dynamics of contrast-gain-controlling processes, e.g., inhibition among cortical cells, synaptic depression at LGN to V1 synapses, long-range horizontal connections, and so on.

Wolfson, S. Graham, N. (2005). Dynamics of contrast-gain controls in pattern vision [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):760, 760a,, doi:10.1167/5.8.760. [CrossRef]
 Supported by NIH grant EY08459

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