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Alexandre Reynaud, Yong Tang, Yifeng Zhou, Robert F. Hess; A normative framework for the study of second-order sensitivity in vision. Journal of Vision 2014;14(9):3. doi: 10.1167/14.9.3.
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While the contrast sensitivity approach has been successful in evaluating the processing of first-order stimuli, there is a need to develop comparable ways of assessing second-order vision. Our purpose here is to establish normative data on second-order contrast-, orientation-, and motion-modulation sensitivity in humans. We propose a unified framework, applying the quick contrast sensitivity function (qCSF) method, which was recently developed for the rapid measurement of contrast sensitivity across the full spatial-frequency range (Lesmes, Lu, Baek, & Albright, 2010), to measure both first- and second-order sensitivity functions. We first show that the qCSF methodology can be successfully adapted to different kinds of first- and second-order measurements. We provide a normative dataset for both first- and second-order sensitivity, and we show that the sensitivity to all these stimuli is equal in the two eyes. Our results confirm some strong differences between first- and second-order processing, in accordance with the classical filter-rectify-filter model. They suggest a common contrast detection mechanism but different second-order mechanisms.
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