The present paper asks whether Vernier offset discrimination is limited by the observer’s sensitivity to local contrast change in both central and peripheral vision. To answer this question we compared Vernier discrimination and contrast discrimination thresholds (specified in the same units) for a pair of narrow ribbons of cosine gratings. Because the ribbons are narrow, both the offset information (for Vernier discrimination) and the contrast information (for contrast discrimination) are highly localized. We found that when the stimuli are narrow ribbons, the local contrast cue is the limiting factor in Vernier discrimination. However, our results also show that integration of information along the length of the gratings (the ribbon width) is: (i) different for Vernier and contrast discrimination, and (ii) for Vernier discrimination the integration of information along the length of the gratings differs qualitatively in central and peripheral vision. For narrow ribbons, the peripheral ‘template’ for ribbon Vernier acuity is not as well matched to the stimulus (in two-dimensional spatial frequency space) as the foveal ‘template’.
Vision Research – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2000
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