Radial frequency adaptation reveals interacting contour shape channels

Jason Bell, Frances Wilkinson, Hugh R. Wilson, Gunter Loffler, David R. Badcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Combinations of radial frequency (RF) patterns may be used to represent the contours of complex shapes. Previous work has shown that many radial frequency patterns are processed globally and multiple curvature mechanisms have been proposed to account for human performance in detecting these patterns. The current paper provides a direct test of this proposal and also, investigates how different RF mechanisms interact when forming a single complex contour. To test for interactions, pairs of RF components have been combined on a closed contour to create a compound pattern. Deformation detection thresholds for single RF components were compared to thresholds for detecting that component in a compound. Masking was present, and was not tuned for the phase relationship between components but was instead tuned for RF, consistent with the existence of several narrow-band shape channels which have inhibitory connections between them. Adaptation was then used to selectively desensitise channels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2306-2317
Number of pages12
JournalVision Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009


  • optics
  • vision sciences
  • radial frequency
  • contour shape channels

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