Send to

Choose Destination
Vision Res. 2001 Apr;41(8):1039-48.

Dependency of reaction times to motion onset on luminance and chromatic contrast.

Author information

Istituto di Neurofisiologia del CNR, Via S. Zeno 51, 56127, Pisa, Italy.


We measured reaction times for detecting the onset of motion of sinusoidal gratings of 1 c/deg, modulated in either luminance or chromatic contrast, caused to move abruptly at speeds ranging from 0.25 to 10 deg/s (0.25-10 Hz). At any given luminance or chromatic contrast, RTs varied linearly with temporal periodicity (r2 congruent with 0.97), yielding a Weber fraction of period. The value of the Weber fraction varied inversely with contrast, differently for luminance and chromatic contrast. The results were well simulated with a simple model that accumulated change in contrast over time until a critical threshold had been reached. Two crucial aspects of the model are a second-stage temporal integration mechanism, capable of accumulating information for periods of up to 2 s, and contrast gain control, different for luminance than for chromatic stimuli. The contrast response for luminance shows very low semi-saturating contrasts and high gain, similar to LGN M-cells and cells in MT; that for colour shows high semi-saturating contrasts and low gain, similar to LGN P-cells. The results suggest that motion onset for luminance and chromatic gratings are detected by different mechanisms, probably by the magno- and parvo-cellular systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center