ECVP 2005 Abstract
doi:10.1068/v050189

Cite as:
Baker D H, Meese T S, Georgeson M A, 2005, "Contrast discrimination with simultaneous monocular and dichoptic masks" Perception 34 ECVP Abstract Supplement

Contrast discrimination with simultaneous monocular and dichoptic masks

D H Baker, T S Meese, M A Georgeson

In experiments reported elsewhere at this conference, we have revealed two striking results concerning binocular interactions in a masking paradigm. First, at low mask contrasts, a dichoptic masking grating produces a small facilitatory effect on the detection of a similar test grating. Second, the psychometric slope for dichoptic masking starts high (Weibull β~4) at detection threshold, becomes low (β~1.2) in the facilitatory region, and then unusually steep at high mask contrasts (β > 5.5). Neither of these results is consistent with Legge's (1984 Vision Research 24 385 - 394) model of binocular summation, but they are predicted by a two-stage gain control model in which interocular suppression precedes binocular summation. Here, we pose a further challenge for this model by using a 'twin-mask' paradigm (cf Foley, 1994 Journal of the Optical Society of America A 11 1710 - 1719). In 2AFC experiments, observers detected a patch of grating (1 cycle deg-1, 200 ms) presented to one eye in the presence of a pedestal in the same eye and a spatially identical mask in the other eye. The pedestal and mask contrasts varied independently, producing a two-dimensional masking space in which the orthogonal axes (10 × 10 contrasts) represent conventional dichoptic and monocular masking. The resulting surface (100 thresholds) confirmed and extended the observations above, and fixed the six parameters in the model, which fitted the data well. With no adjustment of parameters, the model described performance in a further experiment where mask and test were presented to both eyes. Moreover, in both model and data, binocular summation was greater than a factor of \sqrt2 at detection threshold. We conclude that this two-stage nonlinear model, with interocular suppression, gives a good account of early binocular processes in the perception of contrast.

[Supported by EPSRC Grant Reference: GR/S74515/01.]

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