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Quanhong Wang, David P. Richters, Rhea T. Eskew; Noise masking of S-cone increments and decrements. Journal of Vision 2014;14(13):8. doi: 10.1167/14.13.8.
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S-cone increment and decrement detection thresholds were measured in the presence of bipolar, dynamic noise masks. Noise chromaticities were the L-, M-, and S-cone directions, as well as L−M, L+M, and achromatic (L+M+S) directions. Noise contrast power was varied to measure threshold Energy versus Noise (EvN) functions. S+ and S− thresholds were similarly, and weakly, raised by achromatic noise. However, S+ thresholds were much more elevated by S, L+M, L–M, L- and M-cone noises than were S− thresholds, even though the noises consisted of two symmetric chromatic polarities of equal contrast power. A linear cone combination model accounts for the overall pattern of masking of a single test polarity well. L and M cones have opposite signs in their effects upon raising S+ and S− thresholds. The results strongly indicate that the psychophysical mechanisms responsible for S+ and S− detection, presumably based on S-ON and S-OFF pathways, are distinct, unipolar mechanisms, and that they have different spatiotemporal sampling characteristics, or contrast gains, or both.
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