ERIC Number: EJ689046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Decoupling Stimulus Duration from Brightness in Metacontrast Masking: Data and Models
Di Lollo, Vincent; Muhlenen, Adrian von; Enns, James T.; Bridgeman, Bruce
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v30 n4 p733-745 Aug 2004
A brief target that is visible when displayed alone can be rendered invisible by a trailing stimulus (metacontrast masking). It has been difficult to determine the temporal dynamics of masking to date because increments in stimulus duration have been invariably confounded with apparent brightness (Bloch's law). In the research reported here, stimulus luminance was adjusted to maintain constant brightness across all durations. Increasing target duration yielded classical U-shaped masking functions, whereas increasing mask duration yielded monotonic decreasing functions. These results are compared with predictions from 6 theoretical models, with the lateral inhibition model providing the best overall fit. It is tentatively suggested that different underlying mechanisms may mediate the U-shaped and monotonic functions obtained with increasing durations of target and mask, respectively.
Descriptors: Visual Stimuli, Inhibition, Visual Environment, Visual Perception, Lighting, Visual Discrimination, Psychological Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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