September 2011
Volume 11, Issue 11
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2011
Dichoptic presentation of the contrast asynchrony suggests a retinal locus for the contrast response
Author Affiliations
  • Arthur Shapiro
    Department of Psychology, American University, USA
  • Erica Dixon
    Department of Psychology, American University, USA
  • Sean Burn
    Department of Biology, American University, USA
Journal of Vision September 2011, Vol.11, 369. doi:
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      Arthur Shapiro, Erica Dixon, Sean Burn; Dichoptic presentation of the contrast asynchrony suggests a retinal locus for the contrast response. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):369. doi:

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

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The contrast asynchrony is a stimulus configuration that illustrates that the visual system has separable responses to color and color contrast (Shapiro et al., 2004; Shapiro, 2008). The basic version of the stimulus consists of two disks whose luminance modulates sinusoidally in time at 1 Hz; one disk is surrounded by a dark ring, and the other disk by a bright ring. The luminance of the disks modulates in phase with each other, and the contrast of the disks relative to their surrounding ring modulates in antiphase. When viewing the contrast asynchrony at 1 Hz, observers perceive the disks to modulate in antiphase relative to each other (consistent with the processing of contrast information), but to get light and dark at the same time (consistent with the processing of luminance information). Here we present the results of experiments in which observers viewed the contrast asynchrony dichoptically. We report that no asynchrony is perceived when one eye is presented with modulating disks, and the other eye is presented with the black and white surround rings, nor is an asynchrony perceived in gradient versions of the contrast asynchrony (like Shapiro et al., 2005). We compare these results to dichoptically presented brightness settings. Consistent with what has been reported elsewhere in the literature, black and white surround rings presented to one eye induce brightness changes in disks presented to the other eye. When we present demonstrations that compare the temporal response of the contrast asynchrony to the temporal response of dichoptic brightness induction, the contrast asynchrony occurs at rates much faster than brightness induction (as expected). The results give further evidence that the contrast response can be separated from brightness induction. The results are consistent with a retinal locus of the contrast asynchrony, whereas aspects of brightness induction may occur cortically.

Supported by NEI grant R15EY021008 to AGS. 

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