American University
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The separation of monocular and binocular contrast

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-05, 11:09 authored by Oliver J. Flynn, Arthur ShapiroArthur Shapiro

The contrast asynchrony is a stimulus configuration that illustrates the visual system's separable responses to luminance and luminance contrast information (Shapiro, 2008; Shapiro et al., 2004). When two disks, whose luminances modulate in phase with each other, are each surrounded by a disk, one light and one dark, observers can see both the in-phase brightness signals and the antiphase contrast signals and can separate the two. Here we present the results of experiments in which observers viewed a similar stimulus dichoptically. We report that no asynchrony is perceived when one eye is presented with modulating disks and the other eye is presented with the black and white surround rings, nor is an asynchrony perceived in gradient versions of the contrast asynchrony. We also explore the window shade illusion (Shapiro, Charles, & Shear-Heyman, 2005) dichoptically and find that when a modulating disk is presented to one eye and a horizontally split black/white annulus is presented to the other, observers perceive a shading motion up and down the disk. This shading can be seen in either direction in the binocular condition, but it is almost always seen as moving towards low contrast in the monocular condition. These findings indicate the presence of separable retinal and cortical networks for contrast processing at different temporal and spatial scales.



American University (Washington, D.C.)


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