September 2023
Volume 23, Issue 11
Open Access
Optica Fall Vision Meeting Abstract  |   September 2023
Poster Session: A direct measure of adaptation and visual salience
Author Affiliations
  • Mohana Kuppuswamy Parthasarathy
    University of Nevada, Reno
  • Kassandra Lee Corsini
    University of Nevada, Reno
  • Craig K Abbey
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Michael A. Webster
    University of Nevada, Reno
Journal of Vision September 2023, Vol.23, 56. doi:
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      Mohana Kuppuswamy Parthasarathy, Kassandra Lee Corsini, Craig K Abbey, Michael A. Webster; Poster Session: A direct measure of adaptation and visual salience. Journal of Vision 2023;23(11):56.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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One hypothesized function of adaptation is to increase the salience of novel targets by discounting the properties of the ambient environment. Previous studies have suggested this by finding faster search times for novel targets when searching on backgrounds observers are currently adapted to. However, this provides only an indirect measure of salience. Here, we developed a more direct measure of the impact of adaptation on feature salience. Backgrounds were oriented 1/f noise images with power confined within 15 deg of horizontal or vertical. Targets were 5 c/deg Gabor patches centered on the 8 deg backgrounds. Observers simultaneously adapted to the horizontal or vertical backgrounds shown on the left or right of fixation. A 250ms test probe then showed the Gabor patch on the same background (horizontal or vertical) on both sides. The target orientation was adjusted on one side until it appeared as conspicuous as a fixed target on the other side. Settings were made for fixed targets ranging from 10 to 45 deg from the backgrounds. For most conditions/observers, the salience matches required a smaller orientation offset on the same- vs. different-adapt background. These results support a functional role of adaptation in highlighting novelty by potentially “unmasking” the target from its background, and emphasize the importance of considering adaptation aftereffects not only for isolated targets but within the stimulus contexts they are embedded in.

 Funding: Funding: CA-237827

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