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Vision Res. 2013 Oct 18;91:108-17. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2013.08.005. Epub 2013 Aug 27.

Pooling of first-order inputs in second-order vision.

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Department of Psychology, New York University, USA. Electronic address:


The processing of texture patterns has been characterized by a model that first filters the image to isolate one texture component, then applies a rectifying nonlinearity that converts texture variation into intensity variation, and finally processes the resulting pattern with mechanisms similar to those used in processing luminance-defined images (spatial-frequency- and orientation-tuned filters). This model, known as FRF for filter rectify filter, has the appeal of explaining sensitivity to second-order patterns in terms of mechanisms known to exist for processing first-order patterns. This model implies an unexpected interaction between the first and second stages of filtering; if the first-stage filter consists of narrowband mechanisms tuned to detect the carrier texture, then sensitivity to high-frequency texture modulations should be much lower than is observed in humans. We propose that the human visual system must pool over first-order channels tuned to a wide range of spatial frequencies and orientations to achieve texture demodulation, and provide psychophysical evidence for pooling in a cross-carrier adaptation experiment and in an experiment that measures modulation contrast sensitivity at very low first-order contrast.


Second-order vision; Texture

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