Cross-orientation masking is speed invariant between ocular pathways but speed dependent within them

Timothy S. Meese, Daniel H. Baker

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In human (D. H. Baker, T. S. Meese, & R. J. Summers, 2007b) and in cat (B. Li, M. R. Peterson, J. K. Thompson, T. Duong, & R. D. Freeman, 2005; F. Sengpiel & V. Vorobyov, 2005) there are at least two routes to cross-orientation suppression (XOS): a broadband, non-adaptable, monocular (within-eye) pathway and a more narrowband, adaptable interocular (between the eyes) pathway. We further characterized these two routes psychophysically by measuring the weight of suppression across spatio-temporal frequency for cross-oriented pairs of superimposed flickering Gabor patches. Masking functions were normalized to unmasked detection thresholds and fitted by a two-stage model of contrast gain control (T. S. Meese, M. A. Georgeson, & D. H. Baker, 2006) that was developed to accommodate XOS. The weight of monocular suppression was a power function of the scalar quantity ‘speed’ (temporal-frequency/spatial-frequency). This weight can be expressed as the ratio of non-oriented magno- and parvo-like mechanisms, permitting a fast-acting, early locus, as befits the urgency for action associated with high retinal speeds. In contrast, dichoptic-masking functions superimposed. Overall, this (i) provides further evidence for dissociation between the two forms of XOS in humans, and (ii) indicates that the monocular and interocular varieties of XOS are space/time scale-dependent and scale-invariant, respectively. This suggests an image-processing role for interocular XOS that is tailored to natural image statistics—very different from that of the scale-dependent (speed-dependent) monocular variety.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)2, 1-15
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2009

Bibliographical note

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  • human vision
  • psychophysics
  • contrast gain control
  • interocular masking
  • binocular rivalry


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