Several authors have measured the detection ability of human observers for objects in correlated (nonwhite) noise. These studies have shown that the human observer has approximately constant efficiency when compared with a nonprewhitening ideal observer. In this paper we add a frequency-selective mechanism to the ideal-observer model, similar to the channel mechanism that has been demonstrated through experiments that measure a subject's ability to detect grating stimuli. For a number of detection and discrimination tasks, the nonprewhitening ideal-observer model and the channelized ideal-observer model yield similar performance predictions. Thus both models seem equally capable of explaining a considerable body of psychophysical data, and it would be difficult to devise an experiment to determine which model is more nearly correct.
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