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Frédéric J. A. M. Poirier, Frédéric Gosselin, Martin Arguin; Perceptive fields of saliency. Journal of Vision 2008;8(15):14. doi: 10.1167/8.15.14.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Visual saliency plays an important role in early vision. Humans automatically orient to salient information, via covert attentional shifts and overt eye movements. Here, we measured saliency using a novel psychophysical method. The stimulus was a grid of colored oriented lines. Line luminance varied continuously over the image. Using a mouse, participants adjusted line luminance at locations in the image, until all lines appeared homogenously luminant. Participants tended to increase (or decrease) luminance of lines where perceptually salient information was absent (or present), thus line luminance setting correlates with perceived saliency. Perceptually less salient image regions were more homogenous in color and orientation, consistent with iso-feature suppression. Perceptual fields of contextual modulation are derived, showing increased saliency surrounding color and/or orientation changes, increased saliency for collinear and end-stopping lines, and a nonlinear integration of saliencies across dimensions. It took 3 or more surround items identical to a target to generate a measurable inhibitory effect, beyond which every additional identical item had a monotonic effect. These novel findings allow a revision of current models of visual saliency. In particular, we found evidence of sustained saliency. Moreover, this new method is sensitive within the normal functioning range, unlike most current research methods.
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