Detection of Chromoluminance Patterns on Chromoluminance Pedestals I: Threshold Measurements

Vision Res. 2000;40(7):773-88. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(99)00227-8.


Measurement of the detection thresholds of patterns on pedestals of various kinds has the potential of providing insight into the mechanisms that mediate pattern vision. This study is concerned with chromoluminance patterns, that is, patterns that vary over space in luminance, chromaticity, or both. Contrast thresholds for 1 c/deg Gabor patterns (targets) were measured as a function of the contrast of Gabor pedestal patterns (TvC functions), where the pedestals paired with each target were modulated in a wide range of directions in color space. For most target-pedestal pairs, the TvC function decreased (facilitation) and then increased as pedestal contrast increased. The increase went above the absolute contrast threshold (masking) for all target-pedestal pairs except in cases where facilitation occurred at the upper end of the pedestal contrast range. The specific form of the TvC function varied greatly with the target and pedestal, consistent with a general model of pedestal effects proposed by Foley [Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 1994, 11(6)]. There were two sets of target-pedestal pairs for which facilitation did not occur, but masking did occur: pairs in which the target was a luminance modulation and the pedestals were individually isoluminant and pairs in which the pedestal was blue/yellow and the target was in any of our directions except blue/yellow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychophysics
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology