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Speed Judgments of Transparent Stimuli  (1996)
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When two moving patterns are combined additively, observers often perceive two transparent surfaces, even when there are no cues supporting this segmentation in a frozen snapshot. We examined the ability of observers to make quantitative judgments about the speed of one of the patterns under these conditions.

The component patterns consisted of band-pass filtered random noise presented in a spatial Gaussian contrast envelope, presented for 250 ms. On each trial a standard pattern appeared on one side of the fixation point, while a test pattern appeared on the other. The test pattern moved in the same direction as the standard, but with a speed which varied from trial to trial using a staircase procedure. The subjects' task was to report the side of the fixation point on which faster motion was seen.

In some conditions the test stimulus was made to appear transparent by adding a mask pattern. When the mask was stationary, or moved slowly with respect to the test, no significant biases were introduced and discrimination performance was comparable to the no-mask condition (typically 3%). If the mask moved over the test with similar speed, however, the task became much harder, regardless of whether the mask moved opposite or orthogonal to the test. (Some subjects commented on a perceived directional repulsion between tests and orthogonally moving masks.) These results suggest the use of non-directional temporal channels in the performance of the speed discrimination task.
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Judgments, Speed, Stimuli, Transparent
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Perception(suppl.), 25, 35
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019