Dynamic competition between contour integration and contour segmentation probed with moving stimuli

Jean Lorenceau, Anne Giersch, Peggy Seriés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Line-ends, corners and junctions are important singularities for form analysis, object recognition, depth ordering or motion processing. In this study, we investigate the extent to which processing the motion of line ends depends on the spatial configuration of their immediate surround. To that aim, we used two vertical collinear line segments, translating clockwise or anti-clockwise along a circular path, together with a direction discrimination task. Direction discrimination was measured independently for outer line-
ends––at both segments extremities––and inner line-ends––in between collinear segments––using line segments partially occluded by invisible masks such that the direction of either inner or outer line-ends' motion was restricted to a sinusoidal translation along a horizontal axis, and thus irrelevant for the motion task. Under these conditions, access to the direction of inner line-ends is longer and more difficult than it is for outer line-ends. Subsequent experiments show that these effects depend on the degree of collinearity between line segments. Similar experiments were performed after volunteers took a dose of Lorazepam, a benzodiazepine that facilitates the fixation of GABA on GABAA receptors. The results show that the differences between the processing of inner and outer line-ends is reduced, suggesting that the effect of the surround is modulated by inhibitory mechanisms. Using a simple model, we propose that this effect can be explained by a competition between a segmentation process based on surround suppression and contour integration through long-range horizontal connections, at or prior to motion processing stages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-116
JournalVision Research
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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