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Donald MacLeod; Adaptive sensitivity regulation in detection and appearance. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1390. doi: 10.1167/12.9.1390.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The visual system adapts to changing levels of stimulation with alterations of sensitivity that are expressed both in in changes in detectability, and in changes of appearance. The connection between these two aspects of sensitivity regulation is often taken for granted but need not be simple. Even the proportionality between 'thresholds' obtained by self-setting and threshold based on reliability of detection (e.g. forced-choice) is not generally expected except under quite restricted conditions and unrealistically simple models of the visual system. I review some of the theoretical possibilities in relation to available experimental evidence. Relatively simple mechanistic models provide opportunity for deviations from proportionality, especially if noise can enter into the neural representation at multiple stages. The extension to suprathreshold appearance is still more precarious; yet remarkably, under some experimental conditions, proportionality with threshold sensitivities holds, in the sense that equal multiples of threshold match.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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