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Yih-Shiuan Lin, Pao-Chou Cho, Chien-Chung Chen; Contrast gain control determines global form percept in tripole Glass patterns. Journal of Vision 2017;17(5):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.5.2.
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A Glass pattern consists of randomly distributed dot pairs, or dipoles, whose orientation is determined by a geometric transform that defines the global percept for this pattern. The perception of Glass patterns involves a local process to associate paired dots into dipoles and a global process to group the dipoles into a global structure. We used a variant of Glass patterns consisting of tripoles instead of dipoles to estimate the effect of luminance contrast on the global form percept. In each tripole, an anchor dot and two context dots formed the vertices of an equilateral triangle with the anchor dot pointing toward the center of the display. Grouping the anchor dot with one context dot would result in a global percept of a clockwise (CW) spiral and grouping with the other dot a counterclockwise (CCW) spiral. We manipulated the contrast of the context dots and measured the probability of a participant judging the patterns as a CW spiral. The CW spiral judging probability first increased then decreased with the contrast of the CW context dots, resulting in an inverted U shape. The peak also shifted to the right as the contrast of the competing CCW context dots increased. Our result cannot be explained by the existing models for Glass pattern perception. Instead, the data was well fit by a divisive inhibition model, in which the response of a global pattern is the excitation raised by a power and divided by the inhibition from all global patterns plus an additive constant.
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