The effect of temporal and spatial frequency on phantom-contour detection

Jessica Taubert*, Eugene Chekaluk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Phantom contours are a visual illusion that can define regions with distinctive boundaries when no real surrounding edges exist. Spatial-frequency sensitivity is known to vary reliably across the visual-processing pathways, as does temporal-frequency sensitivity. Given that the effect of temporal frequency on phantom-contour detection has been previously established, and that the relationship between spatial frequency and temporal frequency is known, two experiments were designed to measure the highest level of spatial frequency that would still allow reliable pattern detection at different temporal frequencies by using the phantom-contour paradigm. The results revealed that phantom-contour detection is impaired when the stimulus has a high spatial-frequency content and that phantom-contour perception is supported by low spatial frequencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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