Modulation of perceived contrast by a moving surround

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The apparent contrast of a center pattern depends on the contrast of its surround. To examine the suprathreshold perception of moving patterns, we measured the perceived contrast of a moving grating while the direction and speed of the surround patterns varied. Subjects matched the apparent contrast of a center patch embedded in surround patches to that of a patch with no surround pattern. Temporal frequency, Michelson contrast and movement direction of both center and surround patterns varied systematically. We found that: (1) contrast reduction is most prominent when the center and surround have the same velocity (velocity selectivity); (2) contrast enhancement occurs when the surround moves at a higher speed than the center, if the difference in temporal frequencies of center and surround exceeds 10-20, independent of the directional relationship between center and surround; (3) contrast reduction is stronger for higher surround contrasts with lower center contrasts; and (4) contrast enhancement is relatively unaffected by center and surround contrasts. We conclude that the contrast perception of moving patterns is influenced by directionally-selective mechanisms except at high temporal frequencies. Our results further suggest that there is not only the lateral inhibition often assumed to influence contrast gain control, but also an excitatory connection between motion encoding units. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.




Takeuchi, T., & De Valois, K. K. (2000). Modulation of perceived contrast by a moving surround. Vision Research, 40(20), 2697–2709.

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