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Rémy Allard, Jocelyn Faubert; First- and second-order motion mechanisms are distinct at low but common at high temporal frequencies. Journal of Vision 2008;8(2):12. doi: 10.1167/8.2.12.
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There is no consensus on the type of nonlinearity enabling motion processing of second-order stimuli. Some authors suggest that a nonlinearity specifically applied to second-order stimuli prior to motion processing (e.g., rectification process) recovers the spatial structure of the signal permitting subsequent first-order motion analyses (e.g., filter–rectify–filter model). Others suggest that nonlinearities within motion processing enable first-order-sensitive mechanisms to process second-order stimuli (e.g., gradient-based model). In the present study, we evaluated intra- and inter-attribute interactions by measuring the impact of dynamic noise modulators (either luminance (LM) or contrast-modulated (CM)) on the processing of moving LM and CM gratings. When the signal and noise were both of the same type, similar calculation efficiencies but different internal equivalent noises were observed at all temporal frequencies. At high temporal frequencies, each noise type affected both attributes by similar proportions suggesting that both attributes are processed by common mechanisms. Conversely, at low temporal frequencies, each noise type primarily impaired the processing of the attribute of the same type suggesting distinct mechanisms. We therefore conclude that two fundamentally different mechanisms are processing CM stimuli: one low-pass and distinct from the mechanisms processing LM stimuli and the other common to the mechanisms processing LM stimuli.
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