August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Binocular Mach Bands
Author Affiliations
  • Kenneth Brecher
    Departments of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 966. doi:
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      Kenneth Brecher; Binocular Mach Bands. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):966.

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

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Mach bands are usually studied and treated as a primarily monocular phenomenon. That is, the standard underlying explanation lateral inhibition arising from neighboring sensors in an individual eye does not employ binocular vision to account for its main features. Nonetheless, even simple monocular experiments involving Mach bands are not fully accounted for by lateral inhibition alone (e.g., strength of the percept when varying the luminance gradient). As part of "Project LITE: Light Inquiry Through Experiments", we have developed a new Binocular Mach Band applet. This can be viewed on smart phones by free viewing. We have also developed a binocular viewer that - when combined with our software - can be used to probe a wide variety of binocular phenomena. The viewer and software have been designed to be compatible with many smart phones (iOS and Android based phones) and similar devices (e.g., iPods). The controllable software we have developed (found using a cell phone browser at ) employs HTML5 that runs on several browsers on these devices. Together, the software and viewer help the observer experience a diverse range of binocular visual phenomena including: binocular rivalry; stereopis utilizing new textured forms of random dot stereograms; binocular luster; as well as binocular addition of colors. Here we report results of our binocular Mach band experiments utilizing our viewing device and software. Novel Mach band phenomena that people report include both enhancement and total disappearance of the Mach bands with binocular viewing of oppositely oriented lightness gradients. The significance of these observations for the understanding of Mach bands will be discussed. Project LITE has been supported in part by NSF Grant # DUE-0715975.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014


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