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Wakana Hata, Isamu Motoyoshi; Bidirectional aftereffects in perceived contrast. Journal of Vision 2018;18(9):12. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.9.12.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It is well known that prolonged observation of a high-contrast stimulus alters the perception of a subsequent test stimulus. Previous studies of perceived contrast shifts only reported perceived contrast reductions. Here, we used successive presentations of test and reference stimuli and found that perceived contrast was reduced if tests had a lower contrast than adaptors but was significantly enhanced when tests had a higher contrast than adaptors. Such bidirectional contrast aftereffects were not observed for single adaptor flashes but became increasingly pronounced for repeated adaptor presentations, thereby suggesting that the aftereffect is a consequence of adaptation rather than of attentional cuing or temporal repulsion. In addition, perceived contrast reduction weakened as we increasingly jittered the spatial position of the adaptor, but perceived contrast enhancement was observed for large spatial range of jittered adaptor positions. We conclude that aftereffects involve adaptation in distinct mechanisms with narrow and broad spatial tunings. Results suggest that the visual system not only possesses low-level contrast encoding units, which monotonically increase their responses as physical contrast increases, but is also equipped with high-level channels selectively tuned for particular contrast ranges.
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