Dynamic properties of orientation discrimination assessed by using classification images

Citation:

Mareschal I, Dakin SC, Bex PJ. Dynamic properties of orientation discrimination assessed by using classification images. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America [Internet]. 2006;103:5131–6.

Abstract:

Recent physiological studies indicate that the tuning properties of neurons under acute preparation in primary visual cortex can change over time. We used a psychophysical reverse correlation paradigm to examine the potential repercussions of this neuronal property for human observers' ability to discriminate the orientation of targets over time. Observers were required to identify the orientation of a Gabor target presented within dynamic white noise. Frames from the noise movies were pooled to compute dynamic classification images ({CIs)} associated with the observers' discrimination performance, which then were fit with a weighted difference-of-Gabor function. Best-fitting templates were temporally bandpass, tuned to more oblique orientations than the stimulus but, crucially, did not change over time. The results suggest that the template for orientation discrimination is selected within the first 50 ms of stimulus onset and that, unlike the response of single cells, there is no measurable dynamic component to either orientation or spatial frequency tuning of human orientation discrimination.

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