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Vision Res. 2008 Jun;48(14):1569-73. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2008.04.022. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Internal noise determines external stochastic resonance in visual perception.

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Educational Physiology Laboratory, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


We provide the first experimental evidence that the internal noise level determines whether external noise can enhance the detectability of a weak signal. We conduct a visual detection experiment in the absence and presence of visual noise. We define three indices of external stochastic resonance effects, consider the spread of the psychometric function without external noise as an internal noise level index, and find that the indices of external stochastic resonance effects negatively correlate with the internal noise level index. Our results suggest that external stochastic resonance depends not only on the external but also on the internal noise level.

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