Interocular transfer of spatial adaptation is weak at low spatial frequencies

Daniel Baker, Timothy Meese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adapting one eye to a high contrast grating reduces sensitivity to similar target gratings shown to the same eye, and also to those shown to the opposite eye. According to the textbook account, interocular transfer (IOT) of adaptation is around 60% of the within-eye effect. However, most previous studies on this were limited to using high spatial frequencies, sustained presentation, and criterion-dependent methods for assessing threshold. Here, we measure IOT across a wide range of spatiotemporal frequencies, using a criterion-free 2AFC method. We find little or no IOT at low spatial frequencies, consistent with other recent observations. At higher spatial frequencies, IOT was present, but weaker than previously reported (around 35%, on average, at 8c/deg). Across all conditions, monocular adaptation raised thresholds by around a factor of 2, and observers showed normal binocular summation, demonstrating that they were not binocularly compromised. These findings prompt a reassessment of our understanding of the binocular architecture implied by interocular adaptation. In particular, the output of monocular channels may be available to perceptual decision making at low spatial frequencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
Early online date12 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Vision research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Baker, D & Meese, T 2012, 'Interocular transfer of spatial adaptation is weak at low spatial frequencies' Vision research, vol. 63 DOI 10.1016/j.visres.2012.05.002


  • adaptation
  • interocular transfer
  • dichoptic
  • spatial frequency
  • temporal frequency


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