Temporal properties of the visual responses to luminance and contrast modulated noise

Velitchko Manahilov, Julie Calvert, William A. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Vision is sensitive to first-order luminance modulations and second-order modulations of carrier contrast. Our knowledge of the temporal properties of second-order vision is insufficient and contradictory. Using temporal summation and reaction time paradigms, we found that the type of visual noise (static or dynamic) determines the temporal properties of the responses to luminance and contrast modulations. In the presence of static noise, the temporal responses to both types of modulation of low and higher spatial frequencies were transient. When dynamic noise was used, the temporal responses to luminance and contrast modulations of higher spatial frequencies were sustained. At low spatial frequency, however, luminance modulations elicited transient responses, while contrast modulated dynamic noise produced sustained responses. The reaction times to near-threshold contrast modulations of low spatial frequency were slower than those to first-order patterns and they did not significantly differ at modulations of higher spatial frequency. The results suggest that the temporal characteristics of first-stage linear filters which feed the second-order pathway may determine the temporal responses to contrast modulated noise.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVision Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003


  • visual noise
  • vision sciences
  • first-order vision
  • temporal vision
  • second-order vision


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