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Percept Mot Skills. 1999 Apr;88(2):693-700.

Effects of pattern, spatial frequency, number, and rate of stimulus presentation on the accuracy of detection.

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Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA.


Brief trains of pulsed stimuli were used to assess whether magnocellular or parvocellular visual pathways could be differentiated perceptually. Trains of either one to four sine-wave, square-wave, or checkerboard gratings were presented at three temporal and two spatial frequencies to six observers. The task of the observer was to report the perceived number of stimuli (gratings) in a train. The difference between actual number and perceived number of gratings was recorded as an error score. It was found that neither the pattern nor the spatial frequency of the gratings significantly affected perceptual accuracy. On the other hand, the number of gratings in a train and the interstimulus interval between gratings produced significant differences. Perceptual accuracy was greater when lower numbers of gratings in a train were presented with longer interstimulus intervals. The observers typically reported fewer stimuli than were presented. The source of the discrepancy is discussed in terms of a light adaptive process initiated in the retina.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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