Does cortical motion adaptation exhibit functional properties analogous to light adaptation in the retina?

Colin W.G. Clifford*, Peter Wenderoth

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Purpose: The retina codes variations in luminance by adapting to and hence discounting, the mean luminance. During adaptation to a moving pattern, perceived speed decreases. Thus we know that the adapted visual system does not simply code the absolute speed of a stimulus. We hypothesize that adaptation to a moving stimulus serves to optimize coding of changes in speed at the expense of maintaining an accurate representation of absolute speed. In this case we would expect discrimination of speeds around the adapted level to be preserved or enhanced by motion adaptation. Methods and results: After adaptation to motion in the same direction as a subsequent test stimulus, seven of eight subjects showed a reduction of perceived speed in the adapted region and seven showed enhanced discrimination. Conclusions: We conclude that motion adaptation preserves or enhances differential speed sensitivity at the expense of an accurate representation of absolute speed in a manner analogous to retinal light adaptation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)258-260
    Number of pages3
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand journal of ophthalmology
    Volume27
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

    Keywords

    • Adaptation
    • Motion
    • Perceived speed
    • Speed discrimination
    • Visual psychophysics

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