Dynamics of contextual modulation of perceived shape in human vision


Gheorghiu E & Kingdom FAA (2017) Dynamics of contextual modulation of perceived shape in human vision. Scientific Reports, 7, Art. No.: 43274.

In biological vision, contextual modulation refers to the influence of a surround pattern on either the perception of, or the neural responses to, a target pattern. One studied form of contextual modulation deals with the effect of a surround texture on the perceived shape of a contour, in the context of the phenomenon known as the shape aftereffect. In the shape aftereffect, prolonged viewing, or adaptation to a particular contour’s shape causes a shift in the perceived shape of a subsequently viewed contour. Shape aftereffects are suppressed when the adaptor contour is surrounded by a texture of similarly-shaped contours, a surprising result given that the surround contours are all potential adaptors. Here we determine the motion and temporal properties of this form of contextual modulation. We varied the relative motion directions, speeds and temporal phases between the central adaptor contour and the surround texture and measured for each manipulation the degree to which the shape aftereffect was suppressed. Results indicate that contextual modulation of shape processing is selective to motion direction, temporal frequency and temporal phase. These selectivities are consistent with one aim of vision being to segregate contours that define objects from those that form textured surfaces.

shape; contour; texture; surround suppression; motion; temporal frequency; temporal phase; adaptation; aftereffect

Scientific Reports: Volume 7

FundersThe Wellcome Trust
Publication date23/02/2017
Publication date online23/02/2017
Date accepted by journal19/01/2017
PublisherSpringer Nature